The Hawks are investigating suspended SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane, as pressure piles up on the controversial former tax boss who is facing a disciplinary inquiry.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation on Wednesday said the investigation relates to Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, which requires public officials who hold high office to report cases of corruption.
"It’s not an entirely new investigation. It’s a case that was initially referred to the NPA for prosecution, but they declined to prosecute," said Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi.
According to Mulaudzi the criminal matter has been under review and "the Hawks have now until May 30 to conclude the investigation".
Moyanes’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, who is acting for him in his disciplinary inquiry, said he was not aware of the Hawks probe.
President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Moyane on March 19, accusing him of contributing to the "deterioration in public confidence at SARS and public finances being compromised".
Moyane’s charges include gross mishandling of the financial intelligence centre report of May 17, 2016, relating to "suspicious transactions" by Jonas Makwakwa and Kelly Ann Elskie.
However, the Hawks would not divulge if their investigation related to the Makwakwa matter. Moyane, a former national commissioner of Correctional Services, was appointed by ex-president Jacob Zuma in September 2014.
He was said to enjoy a close relationship with Zuma.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa announced the appointment of advocate Azhar Bham, SC as the new head of the Moyane inquiry. Bham replaces retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O'Regan, who was removed following Moyane's objection.
Moyane had raised concern over O’Regan's links with Corruption Watch, an NGO which has been calling for his removal and accused him of mismanagement.
Moyane is the first head of the tax revenue services since 1994 to face disciplinary charges over his professional conduct.