It's up to the boss, Kingon says on heading SARS permanently

South African Revenue Services (SARS) acting commissioner Mark Kingon told Fin24 on the sidelines of his submission to Parliament’s Standing Committee of Finance that he was ready to serve in the position he occupies permanently, if President Cyril Ramaphosa deems it fit.

SARS presented its 2017/18 annual report to the committee on Tuesday in a submission where Kingon attempted to make it clear to MPs that he would distance the revenue service from previous legal and governance troubles and return its focus to core functions.

The Commission of Inquiry into SARS, chaired by retired Judge Robert Nugent, has gathered pace fairly quickly, with Nugent reportedly already advising Ramaphosa that suspended commissioner Tom Moyane should be dismissed. Moyane has approach the courts for relief.

After being appointed as acting commissioner, Ramaphosa extended his stint in June.

Asked about his appetite for the job on a full-time basis, Kingon said it was up to the president whether he should stay on longer, but that he was ready to serve if asked.

“We are here to serve. Obviously, there is a commission that has been appointed and a process underway regarding that. We will wait for that process to be concluded. I am doing what I can in the meantime and working hard at that,” said Kingon.

During his submission to Parliament, Kingon said SARS had scrapped various litigations that SARS got sucked into in recent years over the turf war for control of the revenue service.

When asked of the existence of a rogue unit at SARS, Kingon said he did not have any reason to believe one existed. However, he said SARS could benefit from intelligence capacity aimed strictly at uncovering and targeting tax non-compliance on a large scale.

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