Gigaba ducks question on spy who worked at SARS | Fin24
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Gigaba ducks question on spy who worked at SARS

Jun 15 2017 20:00
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ducked a question on why Mandisa Mokwena was able to be an employee at the SA Revenue Service (SARS), while also being on the books at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the State Security Agency (SSA).

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Alf Lees asked Gigaba in a written question why the SARS commissioner permitted this arrangement.

Mokwena, who headed SARS’ Risk Management division before being appointed as group executive of the Segmentation and Research Division, resigned in December 2009 after disciplinary charges were brought against her.

She is currently involved in a lengthy court case where she and five others are challenging charges of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud totalling R11m.

READ: Lonmin boss was a ‘spy’

Mokwena’s attorney, Stephen Joseph, told the North Gauteng High court last month that she had remained on the books of the SSA while at SARS, saying the R1m she received was payment and not bribes, Daily Maverick reported.

This spurred Lees to ask Gigaba about the full details of her deployment to SARS and who she spied on. He also wanted to know whether there are other SARS employees who were or are employed by the SSA in a covert capacity.

Gigaba ducked the question, saying that “in the period the commissioner has been employed with SARS, there is no record of the said GE (group executive)”.

That’s because Tom Moyane was appointed in 2014, five years after Mokwena left.

Lees was not impressed.

“Instead of answering the questions Malusi Gigaba … has chosen to give puerile comments in response,” he told Fin24 on Thursday.

“This clearly suggests that there is something to hide and that the infiltration by the Security Services into the SARS operations is real and extensive,” he said.

“It also suggests that the SARS commissioner and the minister of finance were, and perhaps still are, complicit in the deployment of SARS employees as covert spies for the security agencies.

“If this is true this will be yet another blow to the integrity of SARS as being a world leader in ethical and efficient revenue collection.”

Lees said he submitted a request that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa force Gigaba “to reply comprehensively to the legitimate questions that have been put to him”.

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