SARS suspends Pillay for second time in two months

23 January 2015 - 13:58 By Sapa
Acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay
Acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay

SA Revenue Services (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay has been suspended for a second time in two months.

"Sars can confirm that a second notice of suspension was served on Mr Ivan Pillay on Wednesday...," it said on Friday.

"Mr Pillay had an opportunity until 16 January 2015 to submit to Sars reasons why he should not be suspended."

Sars said it would not make any further comments about the details of the disciplinary procedures against Pillay.

On December 5, Pillay and Sars's strategic planning and risk group executive Peter Richer were suspended amid allegations of a special projects unit engaging in illegal activities in Sars.

Sars said on January 6 that Richer had been officially suspended.

"Sars has considered Mr Richer's representations and remains of the view that the situation merits a suspension," it said at the time.

Both men challenged their suspension in the Labour Court. On December 17, Richer and Sars reached an out-of-court agreement that his suspension be lifted to give him time to make representations about why he should not be suspended.

Pillay went ahead with his Labour Court action for reinstatement. The court found Sars had breached its contract with him when it suspended him without written notice.

"Clearly... Sars acted in breach of the contract when it issued the suspension notice without complying with... the suspension policy," Judge Annelie Basson ruled on December 18.

"I am also persuaded that the applicant was not afforded an opportunity to make representations."

She ordered that Pillay's suspension be lifted and he returned to work on December 18. The Sunday Times reported that Sars gave Pillay a new suspension notice the same day. It gave him until January 12 to explain why he should not be suspended again.