Panel selected to recommend new SARS commissioner

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has appointed a panel to interview and recommend to the President a shortlist of candidates for the position of the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

The move comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa in November terminated with immediate effect former commissioner Tom Moyane’s service. This followed the recommendation made by the SARS Commission, chaired by Judge Robert Nugent, that immediate action is needed to forestall any further deterioration of our tax administration system.

The termination came after Moyane was placed on suspension in March 2018 by the President.

In the suspension letter, President Ramaphosa said the decision to suspend Moyane followed developments at SARS under his leadership that resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised.

In terms of section 6 of the SARS Act, 1997 (as amended), the President appoints the SARS Commissioner. The Minister of Finance is overseeing the initial steps of the appointment process, and will submit the panel’s recommendations to the President for his consideration.

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will chair the panel that will also consist of: 

  • Ms Angela Bester;
  • Justice Dennis Davis;
  • Ms Sindi Mabaso-Koyana;
  • Mr Ismail Momoniat;
  • Adv Thandi Orleyn; and
  • Mr Fezekile Tshiqi

“The process for the appointment of SARS Commissioner takes into account the recommendations made by the commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by the SARS,” National Treasury said in a statement on Thursday.

The commission recommended the appointment of persons to a selection panel who should be apolitical and not answerable to any constituency, and should be “persons of high standing, who are able to inspire confidence across the tax-paying spectrum”.

The commission also proposed criteria against which shortlisted candidates should be evaluated for suitability.

The department said the panel has already commenced its work and is expected to complete its process in the next few weeks. –