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EFF questions presence of ANC MP at SARS briefing

Sep 18 2017 21:00
Jan Cronje

Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has hit out at the presence of ANC MP Nyami Booi at the media briefing of the SA Revenue Service (SARS) about KPMG, saying it defied “the simple logic of separation of powers”. 

On Monday SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane responded to Friday’s bombshell report by auditor KPMG SA that it was withdrawing the conclusions of its controversial SARS “rogue unit” report. 

Moyane said SARS was “taken aback” by the “aberrant and unethical” conduct of KPMG SA in withdrawing the report, adding that SARS would be taking legal action against the audit firm and reporting it to Parliament. 

Booi, a member of Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), sat next to Moyane and answered questions during the briefing.   

EFF spokeperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi questioned why Booi was at the briefing at all. 

“This gives the impression that SARS is run by Parliament, defying the simple logic of separation of powers. It also creates an impression that Parliament is agreed to and in support of the pronouncements of SARS,” he said. 

ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli, however, said there was nothing wrong with Booi sharing a stage with Moyane at the briefing. 

Mhlauli said Booi was at the briefing as a member of Scopa. 

“Scopa’s interest in the matter arises from the fact that SARS forms part of the anti-corruption unit, which involves other arms of the state (including) the SIU (Special Investigating Unit), the Hawks, etc...That unit reports to Scopa. “ 

'Confusing the public'

Ndlozi said the EFF would write to Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to call Booi and  Scopa to order for “confusing the public”. 

“Parliament is meant to hold bodies like SARS accountable,” he said. “How then can this important work of holding SARS accountable be taken seriously when Parliament is at the same time seen attending press conferences together with SARS. Nothing related to Parliament was being discussed at the press conference, or even to the remit of Scopa."

Booi was not mentioned by name in a lengthy media release that SARS put out after the media briefing. 

But he did later put out a media release under his own name, with his position given as the “whip of the ANC study group on Scopa”. 

Booi said the withdrawal by KPMG of  “some aspects” of the report called into question “the integrity of KPMG as an auditing firm entrusted to do business with the state”.

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kpmg  |  anc  |  sars  |  tom moyane  |  sa economy

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