Mantashe calls for speedy resolution at Sars

Gwede Mantashe says efforts to address the problems at Sars must be intensified.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the drama at the South African Revenue Service (Sars) must be resolved urgently.

On Friday Deputy Commissioner Ivan Pillay was suspended for a second time, a day after the Labour Court in Johannesburg ordered that he be reinstated.

Last month Sars commissioner Thomas Moyane suspended Pillay and Sars planning head Peter Richer.

Moyane said he was taking these actions based on the findings of a probe into claims of a spy unit within the organisation, but the panel that conducted the probe made no findings against Pillay or Richer.

Mantashe says efforts to address the problem must be intensified.

"Everyone involved must work together to solve the problem because Sars is important for the country and for its revenue collection."

Since the new commissioner was appointed, he disbanded the revenue service's executive committee and suspended other top officials.

Pillay has been given until mid-January to argue why he should not be suspended.

It's being reported that Pillay has been suspended because he could tamper with evidence during the investigation into alleged illegal activities at Sars.

On Saturday Finance Minister Nhanhla Nene said he would take action on the situation within the organisation by the end of January, and that he wanted to find solutions that were less disruptive to the organisation.

Nene added that he had a copy of the report of the investigation into claims of a rogue spy unit which may allow him to make up his own mind on whether Moyane took the right action.