President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday (19 March 2018) informed South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane of his suspension with immediate effect pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings.
President Ramaphosa said it was in the public interest to restore the credibility of SARS without delay.
For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen."
In a letter to Mr Moyane, President Ramaphosa said "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."
Concern was raised in particular about the manner in which Mr Moyane handled the matter of Mr Makwakwa, his treatment of the report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre, and his failure to immediately report this to the Minister of Finance.
Another concern that was raised was the management of VAT refunds, which had brought the SARS into serious disrepute and potentially jeopardised the integrity of the SARS as collector of revenue and adversely affected tax morality among taxpayers.
The decision to suspend Mr Moyane follows a meeting in which President Ramaphosa informed Mr Moyane that he had lost confidence in his ability to lead SARS and offered him an opportunity to resign with immediate effect, which Mr Moyane declined.
President Ramaphosa indicated that as SARS Commissioner, Mr Moyane holds a high position of trust in the management of the country's public finances. It was, therefore, necessary to act urgently and immediately to protect the institution and place it on a path to stability and recovery.
The Minister of Finance will announce the appointment of an Acting Commissioner for SARS.