NEWS
15/03/2018 06:21 SAST | Updated 15/03/2018 07:33 SAST

Is It Finally Over For Tom Moyane?

Sources say the Sars commissioner could be gone in a few days.

Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander
SARS commissioner Tom Moyane.

Is the writing on the wall for Sars commissioner Tom Moyane? Business Day reports that Moyane's removal will be put before Cabinet soon and that his departure could happen in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Sars chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa, resigned, following allegations about suspicious amounts of cash he reportedly received. Moyane came under heavy criticism for his failure to act against Makwakwa, and overseeing a disciplinary probe that cleared him without investigating the transactions, which were highlighted in a report to Moyane by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).

Daily Maverick reported this week that a firm allegedly involved in what the FIC suspects was a money-laundering operation, laundering the money that eventually landed up in Makwakwa's personal bank account, had been hired by Sars to help it with revenue collection.

Moyane has been given until Friday to give Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance reports related to Makwakwa. Makwakwa reportedly gave Moyane permission to release his personal tax details and the reports related to his conduct, Eyewitness News reported.

This week, it also emerged that, former Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay has accused Moyane of interfering with the so-called Rogue Unit investigation. According to TimesLive, Pillay wrote to National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams, informing him that Moyane had told a witness to feign illness to avoid an interview with KPMG in 2015. KPMG was investigating the "rogue unit" at the time.

An inquiry into Sars is on the cards, but insiders have told Business Day that Moyane could be removed before the inquiry even begins. An interim commissioner is being discussed, and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas is a potential candidate.

Standing Committee on Finance Chair Yunus Carrim reportedly said the way Sars handled the Makwakwa matter was "unacceptable".

Sources reportedly said that it would be preferable if Moyane resigns, but he is unlikely to do so. Aside from his handling of the Makwakwa matter, Moyane's tenure has also seen Sars facing a revenue shortfall of R48.2-billion.

On the Makwakwa issue, Moyane reportedly said on Wednesday that the matter could have been handled better.

"I am sure there are areas that we could improve on and could have handled better."

He added, "I am firmly rooted in this organisation. I don't feel any insecurity. I am emboldened by the fact that the journey is long and we need to meet the tax target set by the minister of R1.217-trillion. In the last three years of tenure in my office I have never failed to meet the target and therefore I see no reason whatsoever to feel insecure."