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Sars tight-lipped about Moyane’s plans

Sars says it can say only that it notes reports that Tom Moyane is continuing with a restructuring plan.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene flanked by SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane, Deputy Minister of Finance Mncebisi Jonas, and DG Lungile Fuzile after his first Budget Speech in Cape Town on 25 February 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Services (Sars) says it can say only that it notes this morning's reports that its commissioner Tom Moyane, is continuing with a restructuring plan, despite an order from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to stop the initiative.

Business Day says Moyane sent out an internal memo yesterday explaining how he had made several new appointments.

Moyane and Gordhan appear to be in conflict with each other over a controversial Sars unit.

Sars will say only that it notes the Business Day story that is based on an internal memo that the commissioner sent to staff.

It's understood that in that memo Moyane explains he's made three appointments as group executives, while also appointing new chief officers.

Shortly after he was re-appointed finance minister, Gordhan told Moyane to stop these restructuring plans.

But there are questions about whether he has the legal authority to actually issue that order and whether Moyane does have legal authority over him.

Several top officials appointed while Gordhan was Sars commissioner have left the institution after they were accused of wrong-doing in a controversial Sars unit.

Gordhan is unlikely to be pleased at the memo as he has already said Moyane must stop his restructuring until he has had a chance to properly assess it.

And it seems Moyane may believe the finance minister actually doesn't have the authority to issue that order.

This is likely to increase the tension between the two.

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