PRETORIA– The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Tom Moyane, has been suspended with immediate effect pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings, the Presidency said in a statement here Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa cited among his reasons for the suspension the deterioration in public confidence in the SARS and public finances being compromised as a result of ongoing controversy. It was in the public interest to restore the credibility of SARS without delay, the president said.
In a letter to Moyane, President 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.
Concern was raised in particular about the manner in which Moyane handled the matter of former SARS chief officer of business and individual tax Jonas Makwakwa, his treatment of a report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre, and his failure to immediately report this to the Minister of Finance.
Another concern raised was the management of VAT (Value Added Tax) refunds, which had brought the SARS into serious disrepute and potentially jeopardised the integrity of the SARS as the collector of revenue and adversely affected tax morality among tax-payers.
The decision to suspend Moyane followed a meeting in which President Ramaphosa informed Moyane that he had lost confidence in his ability to lead SARS and offered him an opportunity to resign with immediate effect, which Moyane declined.
President Ramaphosa indicated that as SARS Commissioner, Moyane holds a high position of trust in the management of the country’s public finances. It was therefore necessary to act urgently and immediately to protect the institution and place it on a path to stability and recovery.
The Minister of Finance will announce the appointment of an Acting Commissioner for SARS.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK