SARS boss accused of protecting Makwakwa 'because of what he knows'
It appears that SARS executive Jonas Makwakwa is being "protected because of what he knows"‚ says chairman of Parliament's finance committee Yunus Carrim.
SARS commissioner Tom Moyane appeared before the committee to present the revenue service's annual report and to field questions about the suspension‚ investigation and subsequent reinstatement of senior SARS executive Makwakwa.
Moyane told the committee that he had acted as soon as he read the allegations contained in a letter from the Financial Intelligence Centre‚ and had met with the Hawks to discuss the claims contained in it.
But he said‚ the Hawks had told him they were aware of the matter and there was no need to open a case. Moyane said he didn't see any reason to follow up on the criminal aspects of the case as he had not opened the case.
Makwakwa was then submitted to a disciplinary process‚ however‚ the charges that were put to him‚ and of which he was later cleared‚ were not the criminal matters referred to the Hawks.
Carrim and members of the committee were however not happy with Moyane's answers on the matter.
Carrim said Moyane's answers were "fuzzy" and said he was "obfuscating".
"There is a strong perception he is being protected because of what he knows‚ and wittingly or unwittingly you are feeding right into that." Carrim said Moyane's management of the situation "leaves a lot to be desired".
DA MP Alf Lees said "there is no question that there is a moral duty on you to check on the criminal charges" while ANC MP Derek Hanekom questioned how about R1.7-million of SARS money appeared to have been "stuffed" into ATMs with SARS having little information about where the money had come from.
The committee also discussed a R930‚000 bonus paid to Makwakwa by SARS but heard that the bonus had been paid for his performance before he was suspended.
The bonus was based on the 2015/2016 performance cycle which ended in March 2016 and was paid in the 2016/17 financial year. Makwakwa was suspended in September 2016.
SARS policy states that bonuses cannot be paid to any individual on suspension.