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Sars seeks Makwakwa probe, appoints new execs

Sep 16 2016 17:14

Cape Town - The SA Revenue Service’s Commissioner Tom Moyane asked an international law firm to investigate allegations against the revenue service’s second-in-charge Jonas Makwakwa, while appointing two executives to act in his position.

Makwakwa, chief officer for business and individual taxes at Sars, was suspended on Thursday amid investigations regarding financial transactions into his personal bank account.

According to the six-page report by an unknown author, Makwakwa allegedly received 'suspicious and unusual payments' in the amount of R1.2m between 2010 and 2016.

“Sars will follow due process to investigate these serious allegations,” it said.

It has already asked independent law firm, Hogan Lowels, to investigate the matter.

Moyane said he has been engaging the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) with regard to FIC’s legislative mandate to assist, advise and guide Sars, in respect to the investigation into the allegations against Makwakwa and his common-law wife Kelly-Ann Elskie, who also works at Sars.

Sars said the lack of co-operation by the FIC, which reports directly to the minister of finance, was raised by Moyane at a meeting with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday.

“The Commissioner provided detailed information on the sequence of events on the matter to the Minister,” said Sars, who is believed to have been sitting on the report for about three months already.

National Treasury confirmed on Thursday that it met with Moyane to discuss the matter, but it added that it had not been notified of the suspension of Makwakwa.

"The Ministry of Finance notes the suspension of the senior official at Sars that is reported in the media. National Treasury has not been formally informed yet," Treasury said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Moyane appointed  Firdous Sallie as the acting chief officer for business and individual tax (BAIT), while Tau Mashigo will serve as acting chief officer for digital information services and technology (DIST).

Sars said Sallie and Mashigo have a wealth of experience and expertise in their respective fields.

Sallie has been at Sars since 2009 having served as group executive for contact centre operations and then moving on to group executive for direct channels.

“Sallie has been instrumental in Sars’ interface with taxpayers and is a key member of the BAIT leadership team.”

Mashigo joined Sars in 2007 where he served as group executive chief information officer and was responsible for managing information technology. His role was recently been re-configured to group executive for service delivery, supporting a user base of over 14 000 employees using a vast portfolio of applications currently enabling the administration of tax and customs.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

sars  |  jonas makwakwa  |  pravin gordhan  |  tom moyane
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