- President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane on Monday
- Ramaphosa made the decision due to public interest in restoring credibility to SARS
- Mark Kingon has been appointed as the interim boss at the revenue service
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday suspended South African Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane. Ramaphosa made the decision due to public interest in restoring credibility to the revenue service.
Moyane has been suspended pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings against him, details of the scope of these proceedings have not yet been released.
"I can confirm that the president has informed Mr Tom Moyane of his suspension with immediate effect,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mark Kingon has been appointed as the interim commissioner, he previously worked as the acting chief of business and individual tax division at SARS.
Ramaphosa told Moyane in a letter: "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."
Moyane’s has been harshly criticised for the manner in which he dealt with the resignation of Jonas Makwakwa, Moyane did not treat a report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre with the appropriate level of care and failed to make the report available to the finance ministry.
The report flagged cash deposits totalling R1.7 million into Makwakwa’s bank account.
Diko said Ramaphosa was also deeply concerned with the management of VAT refunds which had brought the revenue service into serious disrepute and threatened the integrity of SARS.
Moyane came under fire recently for his role in refunding of millions of rand in VAT payments to a Gupta-linked company via a third party. SARS defended Moyane’s actions and said the refund was above board.
Ramaphosa felt this could lead to South African taxpayers being less moral and more inclined to dodge tax payments.
"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," Diko said.
Ramaphosa announced a commission of inquiry into SARS leadership during the State of the Nation Address. Ramaphosa said restoring public faith in SARS was of paramount importance.
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