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By Citizen Reporter


Sars reinstates employees ousted during Bain & Co restructuring

The revenue collector settled the labour dispute with staff returning to work in September this year.

The South African Revenue Service reinstated two former employees, Ms Hope Mashilo and Ms Tshebeletso Seremane, who were dismissed during the infamous Bain & Co restructuring process in 2015.

The revenue collector settled the labour dispute with Mashilo and Seremane in September this year.

“This marks a further milestone in reversing and repairing the adverse effects of the capture of Sars and its journey to rebuilding public confidence and trust,” said commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Sars addressing capture consequences

“Sars acknowledges the harm caused to Mashilo and Seremane in 2015, as a result of the infamous Bain & Co restructuring process, their positions in Sars were downgraded,” Kieswetter acknowledged.

During the process, the pair were forced to accept positions which were not on the approved new structure, and their repeated requests for information fell on deaf ears.

When they refused to take up those positions, it led to their dismissal “due to operational requirements”.

Kieswetter said: “This is a complex matter and involves the interests of two former employees who were adversely affected by the actions of a Sars leadership intent on capturing Sars.

“In such a situation, not only were the former employees adversely affected by the erstwhile commissioner of Sars, but Sars too became a victim of capture.

“As the current commissioner and chief executive of Sars, I have a fiduciary duty to safeguard the integrity of the institution and the moral and legal obligation to reverse the adverse effects of the capture of Sars.”

Kieswetter addresses criticisms

Kieswetter noted some of the criticism levelled against him about rehiring employees who were affected by the capture of Sars.

“In this particular matter, I had to balance the interests of the affected individuals carefully to bring them back to Sars with dignity, whilst at the same time protecting the institution and sustaining what it stands for as a strategic national asset.”

“In treading this fine line, some commentators read into my caution that I was defending Mr Moyane, the erstwhile commissioner, thus reinforcing the effects of Sars capture.

“As I have often stated before, I am beholden to nobody. I defend the institution and not the individuals who captured it. Sars and I will continue to do so and execute the Sars mandate without fear, prejudice and bias.”

Kieswetter also responded to claims that he is insensitive towards women, single mothers in particular.

“Throughout my working life, I have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to manage with empathy and advance towards equality for both men and women in the workplace regarding equal treatment, equal social standing and equal voice. The two parties are no exception in this regard.”

Kieswetter also acknowledged that Sars’s actions at the time had a devastating and profound impact on the lives of Ms Mashilo and Ms Seremane and their families.

“Sars deeply regrets the hurt, pain and suffering visited on them and their families. I sincerely hope that with the conclusion of this process, the affected individuals and their families may experience a sense of closure and continue their journey to healing and restoration,” he concluded.

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