Sars acts against Moyane loyalists

 

 

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has suspended and extended the suspension of executives against whom serious allegations of misconduct were made during the Commission of Inquiry into tax and governance, chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Robert Nugent.

Sars announced the precautionary suspension of two executives and the extension of the suspension of one executive on Wednesday evening in a statement.

The three executives are Hlengani Mathebula, the Chief Officer for Governance, International Relations, Strategy and Communications, Teboho Mokoena, Chief Officer for Human Capital & Development and Luther Lebelo, the Group Executive for Employee Relations.

During the Nugent Inquiry Mathebula admitted that former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane had a hit list of staff whom he wanted targeted during his tenure as head of enforcement. He also signed off on what was dubbed as a new “rogue unit” at SARS during his tenure — the unit had apparently targeted Sars investigators who were probing high profile tobacco cases.

Lebelo was described as “Moyane’s hitman” during the inquiry. He was the chief proponent of the alleged rogue unit narrative in SARS but came under fire during the inquiry for having the tax agency foot the bill for his personal legal expenses in preparation for his appearance before Nugent.

The precautionary suspensions follow the revelation in an interview with the Mail and Guardian by Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter that a special team had been set up in his office to probe revelations emanating from the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture as well as the Nugent inquiry.

“This is part of an ongoing comprehensive review of the whole SARS leadership by the Commissioner in terms of good governance, and further, in response to the report on the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS, the “Nugent Report”,” Sars said in a statement.

“The precautionary suspensions take effect immediately. It must be reiterated that these suspensions are precautionary in nature and as such do not amount to findings of any wrongdoing on their part.

“A determination in this regard will only be made on the finalization of the process.”

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.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
Advertisting

Odd drop in how Covid-19 numbers grow

As the country hunkers down for a second week of lockdown, how reliable is the data available and will it enable a sound decision for whether South Africans can leave their homes on April 16?

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders