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Tom Moyane given until Friday to provide reports on Makwakwa

Jonas Makwakwa was cleared in a disciplinary hearing after an investigation Hogan Lovells. But the probe was limited to whether or not Makwakwa was in breach of Sars internal policy.

FILE: South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane. Picture Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance has given South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane until Friday to provide it with the reports related to top tax official Jonas Makwakwa who was suspended on money laundering allegations and then controversially reinstated last year.

Makwakwa was cleared in a disciplinary hearing chaired by Advocate Terry Motau after an investigation by labour law firm Hogan Lovells.

But the probe was limited to whether or not Makwakwa was in breach of Sars internal policy and apparently did not cover the suspicious payments to his bank accounts that were flagged in a Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report.

Moyane on Tuesday told the committee Makwakwa had given him permission for his personal tax details and the reports to be made available to Members of Parliament (MPs) and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Moyane says Makwakwa “gave him permission” to give his personal tax details to committee chairperson Yunus Carrim and the minister of finance but only on condition no copies are made and MPs only read it under Carrim’s eye.

Monyane read from Makwakwa’s letter:

“I’m giving this permission on the basis of transparency although there’s no legal basis compelling me to do so. I do (not) permit my tax information to be used for any other purpose other than transparency as my rights as a layman and taxpayer have been extremely violated by my personal information being made public.”

Parliamentary legal adviser Frank Jenkins told MPs the Tax Administration Act allows Moyane to reveal otherwise confidential taxpayer information in order to protect Sars' reputation and integrity.

“It’s not for the taxpayer to give permission it’s for the commissioner to decide, there’s nothing in there about conditional disclosure…”

MPs rejected the conditional offer. The committee meets on Tuesday to consider the reports on Makwakwa.

INVESTIGATION INTO NICS

Sars says it will immediately launch an investigation into alleged links between Makwakwa and New Integrated Credit Solutions (NICS), one of eight companies that have been awarded a contract to help collect the more than R16 billion debt owed by taxpayers.

Moyane today told Parliament Makwakwa had declared he had no relationship to Onica Mpho Makwakwa, who is listed as a co-director of the company.

Moyane says if it is found to be true that Jonas Makwakwa has shares in NICS, he will take action.

“If Mr Makwakwa has shares, he has to come clean with me - for the moment I don’t know.”

Moyane says he does not sit on either bid evaluation or adjudication committees.

Moyane admitted knowing Patrick Monyeki "for years" but said he was unaware whether he was also a director of NICS. He also denied that Monyeki was awarded a contract while Moyane was still Correctional Services Commissioner.

NICS was named in the Financial Intelligence Centre report that flagged suspicious transactions in Makwaka’s bank account.

Sars says it views the allegation in a serious light and will act swiftly if any wrongdoing is found.

Moyane says NICS has done work for SARS since 2004, long before he came on board.

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