Sars: Ivan Pillay remains suspended

Ivan Pillay says the unit had been approved by the highest level of government. (David Harrison, M&G)

Ivan Pillay says the unit had been approved by the highest level of government. (David Harrison, M&G)

South African Revenue Service (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay remains suspended, but a resolution was reached at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) with regards to an unfair labour practice relating to his first suspension on December 5. 

The suspension, which was under discussion at the CCMA, was overturned by the Labour Court on December 18

Pillay was suspended a second time on January 21 on the same allegations, namely that he had been instrumental in setting up a rogue unit within Sars. 

The revenue service said on Wednesday: “Today’s CCMA resolution has no effect on Mr Pillay’s suspension … which is still effective pending an investigation into allegations of gross misconduct, acts of impropriety and bringing the organisation’s name and reputation into disrepute.

“Sars advises that the aforesaid investigation is at an advanced stage. The January 21 suspension was made after affording Pillay a reasonable and fair opportunity from December 19 last year until January 16 2015 to provide reasons as to why he should not be suspended.” 

Pillay was suspended three days after the Labour Court ruling, because Sars allegedly was concerned that he would tamper with evidence. 

He contends that the unit, which had been conducting investigations, had been approved by the highest level of government. 

Sars commissioner Pravin Gordhan is alleged, in 2007, to have approved a request to fund special capabilities in the National Intelligence Agency to partner with Sars. The minister is said to have known that Sars lacked the mandate or capability to perform such a function on its own.

Sars said it and Pillay had exercised their rights to keep the CCMA resolution confidential and no party was permitted to disclose the details thereof publicly.

It is understood that Pillay asked the CCMA to find his suspension unfair.
He has applied for compensation for what the Labour Court found was an unlawful suspension.

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