Nene to comment on Sars suspension saga

Deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay’s suspension was lifted by the Labour Court yesterday.

FILE. The finance minister will today express his views on Ivan Pillay’s suspension & the Sars rogue unit saga. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will on Friday explain his view on developments at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

This after deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay's suspension was lifted by the Labour Court in Johannesburg.

Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane suspended Pillay and planning head Peter Richer two weeks ago, saying his action was based on the findings of a probe into claims of a rogue spy unit.

The court ruled no findings were made against the two.

Sars is a self-administering body but it technically falls under Nele's portfolio.

That means the minister has an oversight role and is likely to be hugely worried developments.

If Sars doesn't make its tax collection targets, it will mean Nene can't increase government spending.

Moyane was appointed by President Jacob Zuma, which could make it difficult for the finance minister to take any firm action.

The president already denied playing any part in the drama at Sars, in response to meddling claims by Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille.

It's not known what kind of reception Pillay will receive upon returning to work on Friday morning.

Sars has not yet said whether it will appeal Thursday's Labour Court ruling or simply try suspend Pillay once again.

If Moyane does try to remove Pillay for a second time, he could probably argue the suspension was pre-determined and unfair.