Why she said no to Sars boss’ offer

2013-04-14 10:00

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The woman offered a R700 000-a-year SA Revenue Service (Sars) post over the phone by tax boss Oupa Magashula says she didn’t take the job because she was “not comfortable” with the way the ­offer was made.

The offer to Nosipho Mba, who was 28 at the time, was made by Magashula on convicted drug ­dealer and alleged police spy ­Panganathan “Timmy” Marimuthu’s cellphone.

The conversation was recorded by intelligence operatives probing the relationship between Marimuthu and Bheki Cele, who was the national police commissioner at the time.

The conversation is now part of a probe into Sars commissioner Magashula, appointed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and headed by retired Judge Zac Yacoob, after a City Press exposé.

Marimuthu was sentenced to three years in jail in 1992 for dealing in Mandrax, but he allegedly bribed his way out of spending a single night in ­prison.

Mba is now the chief financial ­officer of the Ilembe District ­Municipality on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast.

Interviewed at her office this week, Mba said she met Marimuthu at the New Covenant Fellowship church in Red Hill, Durban.

They are both congregants there.

“I got a call from Uncle Timmy. He’s in our church. He asked me where I am and if he can put me at a higher notch.

“I said I was going to think about it. I don’t know (why he made the offer), as there was never a time when I asked him or said I wanted to leave KPMG,” said Mba.

“I thought about it and I was not comfortable. I didn’t know much at the time, but for me to make a big decision I have to consider a lot of things. The most overriding thing, as a spiritual person, is to have peace. I did discuss it with my former boss at KPMG and, at the end of it all, I decided I’m not going to consider it.”

Mba – who left KPMG for Ilembe in December 2011 – said she had never met Magashula or spoken to him again. She also said her relationship with Marimuthu was “not that close”.

“I know him from our church. He is not my mentor,” she said. “I call him Uncle Timmy because I was brought up not to address an elder person by their name. We are not that close at all.”

On the tape, Marimuthu and Magashula discuss the fact that Marimuthu had, in the past, loaned Mba one of his cars.

She confirmed this.

“I was talking to a friend at church about hiring a car to go home to the Eastern Cape. Uncle Timmy overheard us and offered to lend me one of his cars,” she said.

Marimuthu refused to comment on the matter

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