Cape Town - The SA Revenue Service is too important to be mired in controversy and uncertainty regarding its senior leadership, according to Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA).
Mohale was reacting to the suspension of the tax agency's commissioner Tom Moyane on Monday. Moyane is set to face disciplinary proceedings.
Mark Kingon has in the meantime been appointed to head SARS in an acting capacity.
“Following the suspension, the priority must now be to constitute the requisite disciplinary proceedings against Mr Moyane to bring this matter to finality," said Mohale.
He said the suspension of Moyane was "long overdue" given the allegations of state capture and corruption that have been levelled against the revenue service.
The statement by the Presidency on Monday evening announcing Moyane's immediate suspension gave two specific reasons, in addition to a "deterioration in public confidence" in the tax agency under his watch.
The reasons cited were Moyane's handling of the investigation into top SARS official Jonas Makwakwa, and "the management of VAT refunds" which had "brought SARS into serious disrepute".
Makwakwa, the agency's former chief officer for business and individual tax, resigned from SARS on Wednesday last week for "personal reasons".
He is being probed by priority crime investigative unit the Hawks for corruption and money laundering. He claims he is innocent of the charges.
Moyane, in a letter written to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday before his announcement was made public, said he would fight his suspension in court if it went ahead.
As of Thursday afternoon, it was not yet clear if Moyane still intends to obtain a court interdict.
BLSA regrets Moyane's intention to "resist his removal".
“While we respect his right to challenge his suspension, we believe it is important for him to step aside to enable SARS to focus on its constitutional mandate,” said Mohale.
He also called on Ramaphosa to urgently establish a commission of inquiry into governance and administrative concerns at the tax agency.
The Presidency told Fin24 on Tuesday afternoon that it was working on the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry. Details are not ready to be announced yet.