Treasury in the dark over Makwakwa's suspension

2016-09-15 18:06
Jonas Makwakwa (Sars)

Jonas Makwakwa (Sars)

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Pretoria - The National Treasury said on Thursday it had not been notified of the suspension of Sars chief officer of business, individual taxes and digital information systems Jonas Makwakwa.

"The Ministry of Finance notes the suspension of the senior official at Sars that is reported in the media. National Treasury has not been formally informed yet," the office said.

"However, the National Treasury met with Mr [Tom] Moyane and another senior official this week to discuss the matter."

Treasury has indicated that it was waiting for further information on action that is to be taken by senior management at Sars in the matter.

"National Treasury believes that the public confidence and transparency are critical in order to be seen to be doing the right thing in this matter."

The statement comes after internal communication from Moyane to staff was made public. The Sars boss sent out a letter to staff informing them about the suspension.

"I would like to assure all of you that when this matter was brought to my attention, Sars took all the reasonable steps within our policies to engage with the matter,” Moyane said in the letter.

Undue delay in suspension

"I believe Sars has followed the correct procedure in terms of our policies when it comes to such serious allegations of misconduct. I have today, 15 September 2016, issued Mr Makwakwa with a suspension letter pending the investigation," he said.

The DA has welcomed the suspension but questioned why it took so long for Makwakwa to be suspended.

"We welcome the news that South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane has suspended...Jonas Makwakwa, who allegedly received 'suspicious and unusual payments' in the amount of R1.2 million between 2010 and 2016," David Maynier, DA shadow minister of finance said in a statement.

He said they were concerned about what appeared to have been an undue delay in dealing with the matter as it had been raised with Moyane at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance on August 23, 2016.

Maynier said it must be determined whether in dealing with the matter Moyane acted correctly and in the best interests of Sars or not.

"We do not have all the facts at this stage and I have, therefore, submitted a parliamentary question to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, concerning the handling of the allegations surrounding the 'suspicious and unusual payments' scandal at the South African Revenue Service. Whatever the case, the suspension of Jonas Makwakwa is likely to dent the already dented reputation of the South African Revenue Service," he said.

Read more on:    treasury  |  sars  |  jonas makwakwa

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