South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has suspended the country’s tax collecting services head, Tom Moyane, in a move that is seen as continuing a new government clean up operation.
Moyane, who is seen as one of the lieutenant of the corrupt Jacob Zuma administration was suspended as the head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) with immediate effect and will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. Moyane seemed to be part of the Guptas controlled Zuma inner circle.
The Presidency said the decision to suspend Moyane followed a meeting in which Ramaphosa informed Moyane that he had lost confidence in his ability to lead SARS and offered him an opportunity to resign with immediate effect, which Moyane declined.
Ramaphosa said it was in the public interest to restore the credibility of SARS without delay.
In a letter to Moyane, 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 Moyane handled the matter involving Jonas Makwakwa, the head of SARS’ business and individual tax. Ramaphosa is of the view that treatment of the Makwakwa report given to Moyana by the Financial Intelligence Centre, and his failure to immediately report this to the Minister of Finance, was questionable.
Another Ramaphosa concern related to 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 tax payers.”
Ramaphosa said as SARS Commissioner, 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.