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I'm addressing Gordhan, Sars spat, says Zuma

Mar 17 2016 15:48
Jenni Evans, News24

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday reiterated that he has intervened in the spat between South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to help resolve it.

He volunteered this information in the National Assembly, after Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald wanted to know why he was not doing anything to remove what could be a stumbling block to potential investors.

Zuma told Groenewald he was asking the wrong question by asking why he had not intervened.

"Does he know that? He doesn't," said Zuma. "I am intervening on that question. I am dealing with it on a presidential level.

"I have met the minister and the commissioner and I am addressing the issue, so it is being attended to by the president and the necessary structures."

Earlier in March. the Cabinet said Zuma was trying to help resolve the tension between the two after an apparent breakdown in their relationship.

Reports that Sars had a secret unit spying on tobacco companies, and possibly even high-profile business people and politicians' tax affairs, have evolved to the Hawks sending 27 questions to Gordhan relating to his time as commissioner of Sars.

Gordhan has only been back in the position of finance minister since December, when Nhlanhla Nene was suddenly removed and replaced by backbencher Des van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen's appointment was met with outrage from some quarters and Gordhan took over when Van Rooyen was sent to the cooperative goverance and traditional affairs ministry.

But no sooner had Gordhan settled in than the Hawks' questions arrived. He was preparing his Budget Speech at the time, and was also trying to reassure investors getting worried about South Africa as an investment destination amid shaky world markets.

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