Taxman in row over car

2014-12-24 00:00

SARS commissioner Tom Moyane is driving a brand-new luxury 4x4 ­because the taxman often has to travel on “dirt roads”.

Sister paper Beeld reliably learnt that Moyane, who is in the spotlight over an exodus of senior managers from the revenue service, recently rejected an Audi A4 after he previously asked for less luxurious official car.

Now, however, he is driving an Audi Q5, which at R600 000, cost about R200 000 more than the rejected A4.

Moyane’s office confirmed last night that he is driving the 4x4 because SARS investigates cross-border smuggling and many staff work at border posts.

“The commissioner's vehicles must have the capacity to function on rough terrain, not only on dirt roads,” a SARS spokesperson said.

Moyane recently charged Clifford Collings, head of the SARS anti-corruption unit, with failure to deliver his official car. Collings’s unit has meanwhile been disbanded and he was put in charge of the SARS warehouses.

Five SARS sources confirmed the ­sequence of events leading to the purchase of new Audis.

SARS previously had two A4s and a Q5 in which members of the management committee were transported on official engagements.

In September this year, SARS decided to replace the three Audis with newer versions of the same models.

After his arrival to head the service that month, Moyane apparently said he didn’t want a “fancy” official vehicle.

During his term as Correctional Servicescommissioner, Moyane’s official car was a R590 000 BMW 530D.

According to Beeld’s sources, Moyane was dissatisfied with the A4, because it was “just an A4” and said he would use the Q5, because as head of SARS, he often had to drive on dirt roads.

A SARS spokesperson denied that Moyane rejected the A4.

Due to administrative problems, the two new Audi A4s and the Q5 arrived in the country a few days later than Collings had said they would.

Collings was disciplined over the late delivery of the vehicles.

• Meanwhile, it has emerged that Barry Hore, the former operational officer who quit SARS last month, was accused of racism over an incident that involved coffee. Earlier in the year, Hore apparently asked a junior colleague to make a cup of coffee for the director-general of Home Affairs during a meeting. The staffer laid a charge of racism.

The issue was smoothed over at a management meeting, but in a fight with new HR director Elizabeth Kumalo months later, it was resurrected.

Kumalo had allegedly refused to ­implement a new management ­structure drawn up by Hore’s team, because she had not been consulted.

Moyane, who is reportedly close to Kumalo, agreed with her. Kumalo also threatened to have all Hore’s previous projects investigated for corruption.

A source said Moyane instructed that Hore’s technology projects would henceforth need his personal approval, and Hore resigned days later. Kumalo then charged him with racism over the coffee incident again.

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