Sars IT boss Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane placed on 'indefinite leave'

01 April 2019 - 09:20 By TimesLIVE
Sars IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane during an interview on SABC television in October 2018.
Sars IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane during an interview on SABC television in October 2018.
Image: Twitter/Sochangane

South African Revenue Service (Sars) IT boss Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, whose utterances on television and at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry raised eyebrows, is demanding to know why she has been placed on “indefinite leave”.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane caused a stir in October 2018 when she told the presenter of the SABC’s Morning Live during an interview: “Mam, can you give me protection from yourself.”

She had been talking about outsourcing and bursary systems at Sars when presenter Sakina Kamwendo said, "but we're talking about IT restructuring". She made the statement in response.

Twitter immediately went into attack mode.

News24 reported on Monday that Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s lawyer, Moeketsi Thebe Raselo, had written to Sars saying that she was "in the dark as to your exact reasons for demanding that she be placed on extended and indefinite leave – a conduct we view as a wasteful and fruitless expense".

Raselo said in the letter that his client had been “ambushed with questions she could not properly reflect upon” during the TV interview, reported News24.

Sars declined to comment, saying internal information about employees was confidential.

Video clips of Makhekhe-Mokhuane testifying at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry led to more public outrage, with some observers even questioning her health after she failed to give clear answers.

SARS IT chief Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Judge Robert Nugent got into a heated exchange during the SARS inquiry on October 18 2018. South Africans took to social media to express their disappointment in the behaviour of the SARS boss.

TimesLIVE reported in late October 2018 that Makhekhe-Mokhuane had issued a public apology in which she took full responsibility for her behaviour.

“I took time to do a deep personal reflection following my interview with Morning Live and subsequent appearance before the Nugent Commission," she said in the statement.

“My conduct‚ posture and demeanour during both the Morning Live interview and the Nugent Commission may have given an impression of arrogance‚ nonchalance and unprofessionalism‚ and brought my competence and expertise into question.” 

She said her behaviour was unfortunate and regrettable.

“I apologise to everyone who was disappointed or offended by how I handled both situations. There is no excuse or justification for this‚” she said.


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