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SARS 'protect me from yourself' IT head exits with immediate effect

Oct 02 2019 13:47
Lameez Omarjee, Fin24

The South African Revenue Service has ended the employment relationship with two suspended executives and will not pursue further actions against them.

The revenue service on Wednesday issued a statement indicating that after consultation with the group's chief officer of digital, information and technology – Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane – as well as the group executive of employee relations Luther Lebelo, the decision had been taken to part ways.

Both officials had been placed on precautionary suspension in recent months over allegations in which they had been implicated.

"The Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter has committed to the important work of rebuilding internal and public confidence in SARS," the statement from the revenue service read.

SARS had through engagements with the parties legal representatives agreed to end the employment relationship "with immediate effect".

"SARS will not proceed with further actions against Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Lebelo in pursuance of allegations against them respectively," the statement read.

Precautionary suspension

In July this year, SARS placed Lebelo, along with two other executives – on precautionary suspension, pending the outcomes of a disciplinary process.

The Nugent Commission of Inquiry into SARS had heard that Lebelo played a role in the events surrounding the suspension of former deputy SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay in 2014, Fin24 previously reported.

Lebelo was involved in the appointment of a legal team to gather and prepare documents containing evidence that linked Pillay and another employee, Peter Richer to the so-called 'rogue unit'.

Similarly, pending the outcomes of a disciplinary process, SARS in August had placed Makhekhe-Mokhuane on precautionary suspension, following allegations of misconduct.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane made headlines when a clip of her being interviewed by Sakina Kamwendo on Morning Live went viral.

News24 previously reported that Kamwendo had asked Makhekhe-Mokhuane what needed to be done to fix the revenue services's IT infrastructure, to which Makhekhe-Mokhuane responded: "Ma'am, can you give me protection from yourself?"



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