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SARS to furnish Makwakwa details to Parliament

Mar 14, 2018
SARS to furnish Makwakwa details to Parliament

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will on Friday submit reports related to the disciplinary action of its Chief Officer Jonas Makwakwa to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.

“SARS has pledged to submit the Hogan Lovells Report and the Advocate Terry Motau Disciplinary Hearing Report to the Standing Committee on Finance on Friday, 16 March. This was after Mr Makwakwa wrote a letter to Commissioner [Moyane] authorising him to submit the said report,” said the revenue service on Tuesday.

Makwakwa returned to his post as Chief Officer: Business & Individual Tax (BAIT) at the revenue service in November 2017 after having charges against him cleared. He had been placed on suspension for approximately a year following the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report to SARS containing some serious allegations against Makwakwa.

At the time, the revenue service sought outside legal opinion on the matter and Makwakwa was suspended by Commissioner Tom Moyane pending an independent investigation into the allegations.

To ensure transparency, independence and integrity of the process, renowned international law firm Hogan Lovells was appointed to investigate the matter. The law firm thereafter submitted an investigation report, which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against Makwakwa.

Hogan Lovells then appointed Advocate Motau to chair the hearing.

On Tuesday, SARS said Makwakwa has agreed that details and information on his personal tax affairs related to the investigation on this matter be divulged and shared with Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, Standing Committee on Finance Chairman Yunus Carrim and members of his committee.

“SARS recently wrote to the Standing Committee’s chair to convene a panel of legal experts to advise Parliament, the Financial Intelligence Centre and SARS to find legal counsel on the matter. SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane read directly from an 11 March 2018 letter submitted by Makwakwa, where he conceded that his tax audit reports can be shared with the Minister and Standing Committee”.

The revenue service said it has taken note of media reports about an alleged link between Makwakwa and one of the eight agencies appointed through a legitimate procurement process for debt collection of over R16.6 billion of outstanding debt owed to SARS.

“SARS has also noted media reports about the alleged link between Makwakwa and NCIS, one of the eight agencies appointed through a legitimate procurement process for debt collection of over R16.6 billion of outstanding debt owed to SARS. SARS will immediately investigate the matter for a speedy and concise resolution of the matter.”

SARS, which last Friday announced the appointment of a team of debt collectors to recover funds owed to it, said it views this allegation in a serious light.

“SARS wishes to state that should any wrongdoing be found on the said allegations, SARS will act swiftly, without fear or favour,” it said. - SAnews.gov.za