Zondo report: Tom Moyane’s clearcut role in Sars’ state capture

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo found Sars was 'a clear example of state capture'.

The first instalment of the Zondo commission’s report has shed new light on the brazen seizure of the SA Revenue Service (Sars), painting the institution – one of the country’s most vital – as the poster child for state capture.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chaired the commission, found Sars was “a clear example of state capture”.

The volume of the report which dealt with Sars focussed in the main on the award of various contracts to US-based marketing consultancy Bain & Co and on ex-commissioner Tom Moyane’s appointment and tenure.

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Under Moyane’s watch, Bain & Co pocketed R167 million in consultancy fees (which has since been paid back) for services it provided over a 27-month period.

These included recommending and implementing a “profound strategy refresh” and complete organisational restructure.

Sars was, at the time, considered among the best-functioning tax authorities in the world.

The appointments of Bain and Moyane were part of a plan to “redirect the resources … and assume control of the organisation”.

Zondo said it was “a notable feature” of the evidence “that this is one of the few instances where president Zuma was himself directly and personally involved in the activities and plans to take over a government entity”.

“Exactly as the plan had contemplated, specific individuals at Sars were identified and neutralised once Mr Moyane took up his position… A pretext was devised in order to target people, namely the existence of an allegedly unlawful [rogue] unit…

“Some of Sars’ most important units, which were set up to ensure tax compliance, were disbanded or restructured” because its investigatory and enforcement capacity had “presented a hurdle to those involved in organised crime”.

Zondo recommended all Bain’s state contracts be re-examined and the country’s law enforcement agencies investigate “with a view to enabling the National Prosecuting Authority to decide whether or not to initiate prosecutions in connection with the award of the Bain & Co contracts”.

He said the Sars Act should be amended “to provide for an open, transparent and competitive process for the appointment of commissioner”.

He suggested Moyane be charged with perjury for lying to parliament about his involvement in the appointment of New Integrated Credit Solutions, owned by his friend, Patrick Monyeki, to do debt collection.