Sars suspends two top officials

The revenue service confirmed Ivan Pillay and Peter Richer have been suspended.

The revenue service confirmed Ivan Pillay and Peter Richer have been suspended. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Revenue Services (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and the head of strategic planning Peter Richer have been suspended, commissioner Tom Moyane said on Thursday.

This was done as a precautionary measure in order to allow a proper investigation to take place.

Moyane said last week he was suspending them based on the findings of the Sikhakhane panel, which investigated the existence of a rogue spy unit within the service.

Sars spokesperson Marika Muller says the commissioner was only taking appropriate action by suspending Pillay and Richer.

"The commissioner and Sars now have to make sure that the recommendations can be dealt with appropriately but also speedily.

"The Sars disciplinary code makes it clear that a suspension is a precautionary measure and it doesn't constitute either a presumption or a finding of guilt against the suspended employee."

But the convenor confirmed to Eyewitness News that the panel made no findings against Pillay and Richer.

It also appears they were not given the chance to justify why they should not be suspended before they were shown the door.

Sars says this doesn't mean that they are guilty of anything and they could be reinstated once the investigation is finished.

Since taking office as commissioner, Moyane has also suspended his executive committee.

Sars Chief Operating Officer Barry Hore has also announced he's leaving the service at the end of December.