Heads are butting at Sars
Moyane has reportedly questioned whether he has to obey Gordhan's orders to stop restructuring Sars.
JOHANNESBURG - The Sunday Times is reporting that South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane has asked for legal advice on whether he has to obey Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's orders to stop restructuring the organisation.
Gordhan was reappointed to the post of finance minister in December.
An investigation commissioned by Moyane appeared to find that Gordhan was involved in the formation of what was claimed to be an illegal spy unit at Sars.
In his first press conference as finance minister, Gordhan showed his irritation at this investigation - amid earlier claims that he himself could be implicated in wrongdoing over the spy unit - which was set up while he was Sars commissioner.
As head of the ministry that has oversight at Sars, he told Moyane to stop his restructuring of the organisation.
But now, The Sunday Times says Moyane is trying to press ahead with those plans despite Gordhan's objections.
It's also now appears that a KPMG report, which was supposed to clear up what exactly happened, has been finished, but in highly unusual move the auditing firm has issued it with a covering letter, saying it cannot be used to settle any controversies or disputes.
Meanwhile, Sars has confirmed it's received the KPMG report, which investigated the so--called rogue unit, but needs time to decide on the how it should be implemented.
Moyane asked KPMG to probe allegations that the unit, among other things, spied on taxpayers and operated front companies including a brothel.
Former Sars officials Ivan Pillay, Peter Richer, Yolisa Pikie and Adrian Lackay say the report is flawed and untenable in law.
Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela says, "KPMG has submitted its report and the commissioner will be looking into that before deciding on what steps to follow."
Meanwhile, Mohamed Husain, who is representing some of the former employees, says the report is one-sided as his clients were never given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
"We have a report that's not based on interviews with my clients… A report that contains a serious disclaimer and, for that reason, my clients are of the view that the report was not intended to be an exercise in pursuit of the truth."