Parliament demands SARS’ Makwakwa report
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will have to provide a legal justification why it cannot provide Parliament's standing committee on finance with a copy of the report on the disciplinary action into its second-in-charge‚ Jonas Makwakwa.
A Financial Intelligence Centre report last year flagged the transactions‚ and found that Makwakwa and Elskie “may have been involved in or facilitating corrupt activities”.
The report indicated that credits into his accounts increased by 152% yearly from 2010‚ and identified 75 unusual and suspicious cash deposits into his account between March 2010 and January 2016. Hogan Lovells was tasked by SARS to investigate the matter. The law firm recommended that the pair face a disciplinary hearing‚ which subsequently cleared them of all charges.
The chair of the disciplinary committee‚ Advocate Terry Motau‚ was also appointed by Hogan Lovells.
Following Makwakwa's return to his post as Chief Officer for Business & Individual Tax‚ Parliament demanded that the report on the investigation and the disciplinary process be made public. But SARS remained adamant that the report could not be made public‚ as it was an internal matter between employer and employee.
But finance committee chairman Yunus Carrim on Monday said that after consulting Parliament's legal team‚ he has written to SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and finance minister Malusi Gigaba to request copies of the reports.
“With the projected shortfall of R50.8-billion in revenue for this financial year‚ we need to bolster public confidence in SARS more than ever before. The statement issued by SARS that Mr Makwakwa is not guilty of the charges levelled against him is terse‚ and offers no justification for this decision‚” said Carrim.
The committee said if there were aspects of the report that could not be released for "legal reasons"‚ this could be "negotiated" between legal representatives from SARS and Parliament.
Carrim said that should SARS decide that the report will not be made available to the committee‚ it will have to provide a legal justification for this‚ which will be referred to Parliament's legal advisers for a way forward.