The events of Saturday night in Pretoria’s 012 Lifestyle club have drawn attention from all corners of South Africa: Footage of revellers pouring champagne on the floor while dancing in puddles of expensive fizz went viral – and so did the R1.3 million bar bill.

Could the R1.3 million bar bill land someone in trouble?

However, as the likes of Hamilton Ndlovu will tell you, not all attention is good attention. The party has been shared far and wide on social media, prompting intense efforts to figure out if the eye-watering bar bill was actually real.

The venue has confirmed the authenticity of the R1.3 million tab. The staff walked away with R124 000 in tips by the end of the evening. However, flashing the cash is now a hazardous exercise in South Africa.

The SA Revenue Service admitted earlier this year that it is tracing the social media activity of wealthy and ostentatious individuals. A large basis of the case against Hamilton Ndlovu – who secured a R170 million deal with the government during the pandemic – was centred around his Instagram posts.

A cautionary tale…

The boastful businessman uploaded footage of his fresh fleet of luxury cars… however, when the taxman went to check his records, it was discovered that Mr. Ndlovu hadn’t paid tax on any of his new purchases. As the court papers will tell you, he was caught out by own social media page.

So, will SARS be tempted to have another look at the seven-figure bar bill reported on Saturday? That still remains unclear. Passion Java, the Zimbabwean pastor who allegedly paid the tab, is a very wealthy man – and R1.3 million could be loose change in his pocket.

SARS investigation for the Pretoria bar bill: Is it possible?

However, there are plenty of people on social media who believe it will all end in tears for the self-proclaimed ‘prophet’. SARS may be tempted to look into the matter, but the last time we checked, having more money than sense isn’t a criminal offence. Not yet, anyway…



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