Sars suspends Peter Richer again

After returning to the SA Revenue Service (Sars) following an agreement with the taxman to lift his suspension in December, Sars group executive Peter Richer has been suspended again.

Sars spokesperson Marika Muller today said the tax collector had agreed to lift Richer’s suspension last month to give him more time to make representations on why he should not be suspended.

“He has since made those representations,” said Muller. “Sars has considered Mr Richer’s representations and remains of the view that the situation merits a suspension. As a result, Sars can confirm that Mr Richer was suspended yesterday (January 6 2015).”

Richer’s suspension followed an investigation by a panel led by Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, which found the existence of a covert spy unit acting in contravention of legislation governing intelligence-gathering. The panel’s investigation has since come under fire.

Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, when suspending Richer along with fellow executive Ivan Pillay, alluded to the findings of the panel.

Richer and Pillay approached the labour court, but Sars withdrew Richer’s suspension and agreed to pay his legal costs after a draft order. The taxman was ordered to reinstate Pillay as his suspension was unlawful.

Pillay also faces suspension again, according to media reports.

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