Sars commissioner Magashula resigns after scandal

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Friday that he has accepted Magashula’s resignation and that Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay has been appointed acting commissioner.

"The South African Revenue Service is one of the key pillars of our fiscal order, and therefore, our democratic dispensation. It is an institution whose very foundations are built on the trust and credibility that South African taxpayers have in it. It is therefore critical that those to whom the stewardship of this vital fiscal institution is entrusted conduct themselves, during and after working hours, in a manner that ensures that they are above question," Gordhan said in the statement.

The minister reassured South Africans that Sars is committed to “the highest level of integrity”.

In light of the incident, Gordhan is set to appoint a committee to review Sars’s governance and ethical standards, especially as it pertains to the office of the commissioner. He will also call on the public to review the code and recommend improvements.

Magashula tendered his resignation on Thursday following the outcome of a fact-finding inquiry into these allegations. Gordhan had called for the inquiry after media reports earlier this year revealed that Magashula had offered a R700 000-a-year job at Sars to a 28-year-old chartered accountant, who belonged to the same church as convicted drug dealer Panganathan “Timmy” Marimuthu.

Retired Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob and advocate Muzi Sikhakhane lead the inquiry committee.

No evidence
While the committee found no evidence that Magashula had committed a crime, it said that he had been “much less frank with the committee than the committee would have expected of the person who had the integrity essential to his position” and that Magashula had placed the reputation and credibility of Sars at risk.

According to the City Press, a recording of an exchange involving Magashule, Marimuthu and the chartered accountant “Nosipho” came to light when an associate of Marimuthu’s, charged with tax evasion, tried to use it to force Sars and the National Prosecuting Authority to drop their case. There were also claims that Marimuthu himself tried to use the recordings for a similar purpose. Transcripts of the exchange obtained by the newspaper were damning.

The committee was unable to deduce the precise number of people who may have been involved in what it saw as an “attempt to blackmail the Sars commissioner”.

Marimuthu did not agree to be interviewed by the committee.

The full report is expected to be published on both the national treasury and Sars website at 5pm.






These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday