BREAKING: Beleaguered Jonas Makwakwa quits SARS

Pretoria – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced on Wednesday that its chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa, has resigned with immediate effect.

SARS commissioner Tom Moyane made the announcement at an urgent briefing. 

This followed Makwakwa coming under the spotlight this week following a report by the Daily Maverick that New Integrated Credit Solutions (NICS), which has a deal with SARS to assist in bolstering the tax body’s debt collections, paid R600 000 into his bank account.

Moyane told Parliament's standing committee on finance on Tuesday that while businessman Patrick Monyeki was his friend, he was not aware that Monyeki was doing any direct business with SARS through the revenue service’s debt solutions provider NICS.

NICS paid Mahube Payment Solutions, a company linked to Monyeki, according to a Financial Intelligence Centre report.

The company was also alleged to have been part of "suspicious transactions" involving these businesses and Makwakwa's bank account.

Moyane said Makwakwa agreed that the committee would have access to reports into SARS as well as an internal disciplinary report into Makwakwa, who was suspended parallel to investigations into him and his girlfriend Kelly-Ann Elskie.

Makwakwa was suspended on money-laundering accusations following the release of a Financial Intelligence Centre report.

After his suspension, SARS retained international law firm Hogan Lovells to investigate Makwakwa and Elskie.

Based in part on the law firm's report, Makwakwa was found not guilty at a later disciplinary hearing.

He returned to the tax collection agency in October 2017 after a year-long suspension.

At the time SARS said Advocate Terry Motau, who chaired the Hogan Lovells investigation into Makwakwa, found he was not guilty of the charges against him.

But Hogan Lovells itself has come under scrutiny, notably by UK politician Lord Peter Hain, for allegedly not investigating the money-laundering accusations at all in its investigation.

Moyane said both the committee and SARS were in agreement that these reports must be released to National Treasury and MPs.

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