SARS places 'protect me from yourself' IT head on precautionary suspension

The clean-up at the South African Revenue Service is continuing, with the tax agency announcing on Wednesday that it has placed a fifth executive on precautionary suspension.

The latest executive facing allegations of misconduct is Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, the group's chief officer of digital, information and technology.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane has been suspended pending the finalisation of a disciplinary process against her, according to the revenue collection agency. Her precautionary suspension takes effect immediately. 

She made news in October 2018, when a clip of her being interviewed by Sakina Kamwendo on Morning Live went viral.

As News24 previously reported, at one point Kamwendo asked what needed to be done to fix the tax body's IT infrastructure and Makhekhe-Mokhuane responded: "Ma'am, can you give me protection from yourself?" 

SARS, in a statement, noted that the suspension did not amount to findings of wrongdoing by the executives.

The other four executives on suspension are:

  • Hlengani Mathebula, chief officer of governance, international relations, strategy and communications;
  • Teboho Mokoena, chief officer of human capital & development;
  • Luther Lebelo, group executive of employee relations,
  • Refiloe Mokoena, chief officer of legal counsel.

The suspensions are part of a review of SARS leadership by new commissioner Edward Kieswetter, and in response to the recommendations of the Nugent inquiry into the institution.

SARS said it would not be commenting on the suspensions pending the finalisation of processes.

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