Revealed: SARS paid law firm R120k to read a book, commission hears

Revealed: SARS paid law firm R120k to read a book, commission hears

- It has been revealed that SARS paid a law firm R120 000 to read a book

- According to reports, the law firm was asked to investigate whether suspended commissioner, Tom Monyane was mentioned in the book

- The firm was also tasked with finding out if the claims in the book were defamatory

- Judge Robert Nugent was astonished by the revelation, asking how long the book is

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The South African Revenue Service paid a law firm R120 000 to read a book to find out whether Tom Monyane, the suspended commissioner, was mentioned in it, as well as to find out if the claims made in the book were defamatory.

This was revealed during the Nugent commission of inquiry this week while Luther Lebelo, the group executive, gave his testimony. Lebelo signed off on the expenditure, but claims he was only recently made aware of the invoice.

Meanwhile, Moyane has not responded to several claims made against him at the commission. Instead, he approached the Constitutional Court to challenge its lawfulness.

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Lebelo told the commission he was regularly forced to sign off on legal expenses. However, he claims he often questioned the purpose and if it should be assigned to his cost centre.

Advocate Carol Steinberg, the evidence leader, confirmed to Judge Robert Nugent these allegations of expenditure.

"The cost for reading the book was approximately R120,000 before VAT."

Surprised by this, Judge Nugent asked for more details from Lebelo.

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He said:

"R120,000? How long is this book? Is it War and Peace? Do you know about this book?"

Lebelo explained he saw the invoice for the book for the first time.

According to Eyewitness News, attorney David Maphakela, a partner in the law firm, did not testify on Monday. He now faces possible criminal prosecution.

Briefly.co.za recently reported that Moyane believes he was the best commissioner South Africa had since the apartheid era ended.

According to Moyane, he was the most successful commissioner that SARS had and says the president's treatment of him is in violation of the constitution.

Moyane handed over a fat 700 page application at the Constitutional Court in which he wishes to challenge how legal and fair the Nugent inquiry and the investigation into his alleged misconduct was.

The second inquiry was launched by advocate Azhar Bham.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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