Makwakwa back at SARS, cleared of all wrongdoing

Cape Town – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) confirmed late on Monday that its suspended second-in-command Jonas Makwakwa will return to the organisation on Wednesday. 

"SARS wishes to announce that after approximately a year in suspension, Chief Officer: Business & Individual Tax (BAIT),  Mr Jonas Makwakwa, will return to the organisation with effect from 1 November 2017." 

In September 2016, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) submitted a report to SARS containing some serious allegations against Makwakwa.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane subsequently suspended him with full pay and benefits. 

SARS said in its statement on Monday it sought an outside legal opinion on the matter and that "renowned international firm Hogan Lovells" was appointed to investigate the matter to "ensure transparency, independence and integrity of the process".

Hogan Lovells submitted an investigation report which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against Makwakwa, SARS said in its statement.

Hogan Lovells then appointed Advocate Terry Motau, to chair the hearing.

"SARS wishes to confirm that Advocate Motau, SC has submitted the final report which found that Mr Makwakwa was not guilty of any of the charges levelled against him.

"This concludes the disciplinary action against Mr Makwakwa. As result SARS will immediately implement the outcome of the hearing as is. He will return to SARS to resume his position as CO: BAIT with effect from 1 November 2017." 

News24 on Monday reported that Makwakwa was allegedly expected to return to work this week.

The SARS insiders told News24 that Makwakwa was set to make a comeback after his girlfriend, Kelly-Ann Elskie, returned to the SARS office for duty last week.

Makwakwa and Elskie were suspended in September last year after the FIC had flagged the pair for several suspicious payments made into their personal bank accounts.

Alf Lees from the DA said in a statement released earlier on Monday that the party would demand that Moyane release the full unabridged version of the Hogan Lovells investigative report.

Yunus Carrim (ANC), chairperson of the standing committee on finance, said SARS is due to appear before Parliament on November 28 to give feedback on a number of issues. 

“We have repeatedly said to the SARS Commissioner and the (Finance) Minister (Malusi Gigaba) that they must in the public interest release the final report on this matter in the public domain,” Carrim said.

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