New Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday angrily rejected suggestions that auditing firm KPMG had confirmed the existence of a so-called “rogue” intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service.
Speaking at his first media briefing after he was given back his former portfolio on Sunday, Gordhan said he had been unfairly tarnished and cautioned against attacking the reputation of SARS, which he headed before becoming finance minister for the first time in 2009.
“How would you like to be accused of something on the basis of a document that hasn’t been put to you or on the basis of questions that haven’t been put to you, on the basis of no opportunity being given to you to say what the facts of the matter are?” he said when asked about the findings of a leaked interim report by KPMG.
“Stop reporting on rumours and cooking up things. Where is this mysterious report? And KPMG’s got a cheek to say he doesn’t know anything about it. According to what I’ve read but he should have known. Wow! I think forensic people are supposed to come up with facts. What does this say about the reputation of KPMG?”
Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas intervened to stress that as yet there was no final report.
In May, as senior SARS officials were forced to leave their posts in a bitter battle over the unit with current SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, Gordhan denied that it had been established illicitly.
At the time he also issued a statement rejecting “unwarranted aspersions on my integrity”. – African News Agency