Moyane to Kingon to Keiswetter: timeline to appointing a new Sars boss

28 March 2019 - 14:38 By Odwa Mjo
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Edward Kieswetter is the new SARS commissioner.
Edward Kieswetter is the new SARS commissioner.
Image: Simon Mathebula

Just over a year after Tom Moyane was suspended from his role as the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (Sars), Edward Kieswetter has been appointed as the new boss.

Kieswetter will take over from the current acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon, who was also shortlisted for the position.

From Moyane's suspension to Kingon filling his shoes to Keiswetter's appointment. Here is a look at the journey to appoint a new Sars boss.

Tom Moyane

Moyane was suspended on March 19 2018 with immediate effect. After a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa, he declined an offer to resign, prompting Ramaphosa to suspend him.  

"Developments at the Sars under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised. For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen,"  Ramaphosa said in a letter to Moyane, made public by the presidency.

Mark Kingon

On March 20 2019, Mark Kingon was appointed as the acting commissioner following Moyane's suspension the previous night. 

Kingon, a longtime employee at Sars, had stood in as acting chief officer of business and individual tax after Jonas Makwakwa resigned in March 2018.

Kingon's term extended 

According to the Sars Act, Kingon was expected to spend just 90 days as acting commissioner.

But in June, then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene reappointed Kingon for another 90 days.

Tom Moyane fired 

As Moyane's legal battle to save his job continued, Ramaphosa made the decision to fire him in November 2018.

Ramaphosa's decision was based on recommendations made by retired judge Robert Nugent during an inquiry into Sars.

Testimony at the inquiry revealed severe mismanagement that occurred at Sars under Moyane's leadership. This included a massive hole in tax revenue collection.

Moyane took to the Constitutional Court in a bid to challenge the validity of the Nugent inquiry. He also filed an application in the high court to have his axing overturned. The application was dismissed in December 2018.

Appointing a new commissioner 

An independent selection panel led by former finance minister Trevor Manuel was appointed to make recommendations to Ramaphosa.

The panel included Angela Bester, Justice Dennis Davis, Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, Ismail Momoniat, Thandi Orleyn and Fezekile Tshiqi.

The position was advertised from December 16 2018 to January 18 2019.

Edward Kieswetter appointed

The former deputy commissioner of Sars was appointed by Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
Kieswetter was selected from a list of six shortlisted candidates. 

Others on the list included current acting commissioner Mark Kingon, Nathaniel Mabetwa, Sunita Manik, Gene Ravele and Nazrien Kader.

Kieswetter will take up his new position on May 1.

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