Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has hit out at international law firm Hogan Lovells, which has back-pedalled on its investigation into SARS executive and alleged money-launderer Jonas Makwakwa.
In a statement to HuffPost, Gordhan said: "Once again a professional firm, through its questionable conduct, has raised serious questions about its professional ethics and its role in state capture."
Hogan Lovells' original terms of reference in its investigation into SARS included investigating alleged money-laundering and corruption by Makwakwa and his wife Kelly-Ann Elskie, who also works at SARS.
The law firm toned down those terms to look at only a narrow set of alleged policy infringements. This allowed SARS-appointed advocate Terry Motau to let both Makwakwa and Elskie off the hook, allowing both to return to their desks at SARS earlier this month.
The suspicious cash deposits into the accounts of both employees amount to millions of rands that have been branded suspicious and possibly criminal by money-laundering regulator the Financial Intelligence Centre.
"Is this the kind of conduct that the legal profession needs to look into? Far more serious is the fact that these events are taking place in an institution like SARS, that needs impeccable integrity and the confidence of the people," said Gordhan.