ANC: Zuma can’t be blamed for Sars drama

DA leader Helen Zille accused the president of trying to protect himself and his party.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille must stop commenting on the suspension of officials at the South African Revenue Service (Sars), the African National Congress (ANC) said on Monday.

The ruling party also called on Zille to stop speculating on Sars' financial future as she is neither a journalist nor an economist.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe lashed out at the opposition party following the second suspension of deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

He was suspended for a second time last week, shortly after a court overturned his first suspension.

Commissioner Tom Moyane said his decision was based on the findings of a probe into claims of a rogue spy unit within Sars.

It has since emerged the panel made no findings against Pillay.

Zille blames President Jacob Zuma for the latest problems at the service, saying the president is trying to capture Sars to protect himself and the ruling party.

But Mantashe says the president must be left out of the drama.

"When you begin to make serious statements like that, you must know you are gambling."

The secretary general says it's imperative that these problems be sorted out urgently.

Mantashe says he believes Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will keep his promise to give urgent attention to this matter.

The minister on Saturday said he would take action by the end of January.

Nene added he wanted to find solutions that were less disruptive to Sars.