The president of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has, on Monday, suspended the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services (SARS), Mr. Tom Moyane.
According to a statement that was released by the Presidency on Monday, President Ramaphosa indicated that the suspension of the commissioner was with immediate effect and that it was pending displinary proceedings. The statement further added that Ramaphosa felt that the suspension of the tax boss was necessary in order to restore credibility in the institution that was responsible for the public funds. “President Ramaphosa said it was in the public interest to restore the credibility of Sars without delay,” said the statement.
The statement by the Presidency added that the suspension had been necessitated by developments in the institution that had led to deterioration in the public confidence. Another point raised by the statement is that it felt that public funds had been compromised under the leadership of Moyane. In particular, the statement raised the way in which the commissioner had dealt with the allegations that had been levelled against his second in command, Jonas Makwakwa. According to the statement, Moyane had not treated the report that he had received from the Financial Intelligence Centre with the respect that it deserved. Furthermore, the statement added, Moyane had failed to report the matter to the minister as was required by law in such matters. Consequently, in his letter to suspend Moyane, Ramaphosa said: “Developments at the Sars under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised. For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen.”
Responding to the suspension of the SARS Commissioner, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), welcomed the suspension of the tad boss, adding that this was the beginning. DA spokesperson on finance, Alf Lees said that a new and respected new commissioner needed to be appointed soon, adding that a full investigation into the management of SARS under Moyane needed to be conducted.
Meanwhile, Mark Kingon, who has been with SARS for more than 34 years and had replaced Jonas Makwakwa as acting chief officer of Business and Individual Taxes, has been appointed as acting SARS commissioner.