SARS dismisses reports of impropriety

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has dismissed media reports of impropriety against Commissioner Tom Moyane.

“SARS notes with deep concern media reports spreading the allegation that there has been impropriety on the part of Commissioner Moyane in dealing with the disciplinary investigation into the Chief Officer for Business & Individual Taxes, Mr Jonas Makwakwa.”

In a statement on Monday, the revenue service said it was necessary to address the misrepresentation of facts around the matter. The revenue service announced Makwakwa’s return at the end of October after having charges against him cleared.

“There is a predictable and monotonous media narrative that is aimed at casting aspersions on the integrity of the organisation,” said SARS.

In September 2016, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) submitted a report to SARS containing some serious allegations against Makwakwa. At the time, the revenue service sought outside legal opinion on the matter and Makwakwa was suspended by the Commissioner, pending an independent investigation into the allegations.

To ensure transparency, independence and integrity of the process, renowned international law firm, Hogan Lovells was appointed to investigate the matter. The law firm submitted an investigation report, which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the Chief Officer.

On Monday, SARS said it was not true that Hogan Lovells did not investigate the FIC suspicious transactions.

“All transactions, as per the FIC suspicious report, were put to Mr Makwakwa to respond and he did. It was those responses which lead to Hogan Lovells concluding that an act of misconduct could not be found from the transactions and their sources.”

SARS said Moyane received the FIC report in May 2016, after which he sought advice and placed the Makwakwa on precautionary suspension on 15 September 2016.

“Mr Makwakwa was found not guilty of all charges, contrary to media reports spreading the allegation that the processes were tainted and that Mr Moyane had a hand in allegedly tainting the processes.

“SARS is concerned that widespread media reports seem to suggest that SARS erred by allowing Mr Makwakwa back into his employ, given that there is a criminal matter pending. This assertion displays a lack of understanding of the difference between a misconduct investigation by an employer and a criminal investigation,” said SARS. -

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