News / South Africa

Yadhana Jadoo
3 minute read
29 Nov 2017
6:35 am

Civil society calls for Moyane’s head

Yadhana Jadoo

He should be criminally charged, says Corruption Watch director.

FILE PICTURE: PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 03: South African Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane during the revenue’s preliminary collection results announcement on April 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath)

Civil Society Organisations are calling for South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane’s head for being an “evasive” character who should never have occupied such an integral position.

This after Moyane appeared in front of parliament’s standing committee on finance yesterday, where he came under fire over the reinstatement of senior Sars official Jonas Makwakwa – who was suspended following a financial intelligence centre report on exorbitant transactions made into his account and that of his girlfriend.

“You have not served yourself well, and you have not served Sars well. There has to be serious consideration on suspending this gentleman and his partner,” committee chairperson Yunus Carrim told Moyane.

He said Moyane’s statements on the matter, which sees Makwakwa facing a criminal investigation, as well as his responses to questions from MPs, were fuelling perceptions that he was shielding the man who is widely considered his deputy.

“There is a strong perception that he is being protected and you are feeding directly into that perception,” Carrim said.

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said it was a “danger” to have Moyane in his position.

“I think he should be criminally charged. But the Hawks don’t seem to have done anything. He should not be head of Sars,” Lewis suggested.

“I don’t know what one does with someone who is that evasive, and evasive is a kind word. He is just prepared to say something that is absolutely and manifestly untrue. You can’t have someone like that heading the local football club, let alone the South African Revenue Service.”

Corruption Watch has since laid criminal charges against Moyane in relation to the matter involving alleged fraud and corruption committed by Makwakwa and his partner Kelly-Ann Elskie.

Charges were also laid against Makwakwa and Elskie directly.

“We are absolutely positive that we are not going to let this rest,” said Lewis.

Makwakwa was reinstated in his position as Sars’ chief officer for business and individual taxes on November 1 after being suspended for just more than a year.

Moyane had reiterated to thecommittee that Makwakwa had been cleared of misconduct in an investigation by law firm Hogan Lovells, which found that neither him nor Elskie had contravened Sars policy.

Meanwhile, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) asked parliament’s standing committee on finance to pursue the investigation against Sars and hold Moyane to account. Outa chief operating officer Ben Theron further called for Moyane’s suspension over his reluctance to take action against Makwakwa and Elskie, saying that his “failure to report them to law enforcement should not be construed as an insignificant omission, but rather as a crime itself”.

“Sars cannot effectively propagate tax morality nor enforce tax and anti-money laundering legislation if its conduct or that of its most senior officials is not transparent and can withstand scrutiny,” said Theron.

– additional reporting ANA – news@citizen.co.za

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