Amanda Watson news editor The Citizen obituary

By Amanda Watson

News Editor

Bain backtracks on testifying at Sars commission

Judge Robert Nugent says he invited the consultancy to testify, but it sent a letter saying 'no, thank you very much, no one will be here'.

International consultancy Bain has withdrawn its voluntary participation at the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance at Sars, Judge Robert Nugent announced yesterday.

Bain was alleged to have received R146 million for its attempt at restructuring Sars’ operations.

Between Bain and Gartner, which consulted on Sars’ IT systems, about R400 million had been spent on the two, the commission noted.

“Bain was invited, I’d set aside the 22nd of this month … I’ve had a letter back from Bain saying no, thank you very much, no one will be here,” Nugent said.

During acrimonious testimony by current Sars IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane – for which she later apologised – she said Sars did not have the capacity to build on its IT structure and could only do maintenance.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane said if resources were assessed, there were none available for what Sars wanted to achieve, citing “institutionalised chaos”, and that it would take R2.16 billion to rebuild the platform, which was facing security issues.

This was denied by Sars.

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South African Revenue Service (SARS)