NEWS
26/06/2018 13:00 SAST | Updated 26/06/2018 14:52 SAST

Inquiry Has Already Found 'Disconcerting Things' About Morale In Sars

'We want to know what was supposed to be happening at Sars... and why are people leaving,' said inquiry leader Judge Robert Nugent.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Judge Robert Nugent, who is heading up the inquiry into tax administration and governance at the SA Revenue Service (Sars), says judging by interviews already conducted, there are "disconcerting things" that led to a mass exodus of senior staff from the revenue collector.

Nugent, who was speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria ahead of an early submission by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, said the "broad thrust" of the investigation would focus on governance at Sars.

"We want to know what was supposed to be happening at Sars... and why are people leaving," he said.

"There are some very disconcerting things about people and the morale in Sars...There were major changes thereafter, and we need to understand the context of those changes."

The inquiry will also investigate allegations of unauthorised bonuses to executives and the alleged withholding of refunds owed to taxpayers, as well as supply-chain management and tender processes. The inquiry must file its preliminary report by the end of September.

The commission had a broad mandate, and it also instructed to look specifically at whether holders of public office of people connected to them were threatened in a "nonstandard" way.