Sars boss Tom Moyane urges staff not to panic

2014-12-19 13:05

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Sars commissioner Tom Moyane says he has “acted in good faith and done what I deemed to be in the best interests” of the tax authority.

He also insists that the South African Revenue Service is not “in a crisis”.

Moyane sent a year-end message to Sars’ employees this morning in which he spoke about the suspensions and allegations that have rocked the organisation in the past few weeks.

This week deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and Sars’ strategic planning and risk group executive, Peter Richer, won court bids to have their suspensions by Moyane overturned.

Read: Ivan Pillay’s suspension found unlawful

In his message to staff, which City Press has seen, Moyane wrote: “The events that have unfolded in the past few weeks are undoubtedly a cause for concern to everyone connected with this proud organisation. I am fully aware that for staff this period is particularly unsettling.

“I want to remind you that when I joined Sars I clearly stated that I would not allow any culture of flouting laws and rogue activities under my watch.

I want to therefore assure you that I have acted in good faith and done what I deemed to be in the best interest of Sars.”

Moyane said he had “noted” the Labour Court’s decision to overturn the suspensions of “senior officials” – he did not refer to Pillay or Richer by name.

“Sars will abide by the court’s ruling,” he wrote.

Moyane said it would be complicit of him to “fold hands when the organisation is facing this challenging test”.

“My sole purpose is to determine the veracity of the numerous disturbing allegations that have been raised in a number of media articles and to establish if indeed there was a ‘rogue intelligence unit’ operating outside of the Sars mandate.

“My commitment to you is that I will always strive to be open, transparent and consistent irrespective of any external influences. However, it is important to note that there are currently some matters that simply cannot be fully disclosed as they are either in [the legal] process or subject to legal processes. I therefore ask that we be given the space to let the processes unfold and come to fruition.”

He went on to promise that staff would receive updates “as soon as we are able to provide feedback”.

“In the meantime, we should not feed the rumour mill internally as this is not constructive and serves no one.”

At the end of his letter, Moyane wrote: “I want to assure you that Sars is not in crisis!

“Let us focus on the fact that Sars is entrusted with a crucial mandate. The work we do in driving compliance and collecting revenue is inextricably linked to the capacity of the state to serve its citizens and to the success of our young democracy.

“I ask that we all remember our commitment to the organisation, the country and our most important stakeholder, the taxpayer.”

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