Sars yet to confirm Jonas Makwakwa suspension

Tom Moyane informed staff in an internal memorandum that Makwakwa had today been put on suspension.

Picture: Sars.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has yet to issue official confirmation that its second-in-charge, Jonas Makwakwa has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of unusual deposits made into his personal bank account.

Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane informed staff in an internal memorandum this morning that Makwakwa had today been put on suspension.

In a statement a short while later, Treasury said it noted media reports about the move, but had yet to be formally notified about it by Sars.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will be asking more questions.

Hours after the news broke Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela is still unable to confirm or deny Makwakwa's suspension over suspicious payments of R1.2 million paid into his bank account over the past six years.

The DA's David Maynier, who earlier tackled Commissioner Moyane in Parliament about the matter, has welcomed the move.

But Maynier says he's concerned about what appears to have been an undue delay in dealing with the issue, which he says was raised with Moyane at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance on 23 August.

Maynier says he'll be putting Parliamentary questions to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. He says it's important to determine whether Moyane has acted correctly and in Sars' best interests.

Moyane received a banking regulator's investigative report that flagged the unusual payments in May.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says Cabinet did not discuss the allegations against Makwakwa.

A memo from Commissioner Moyane says he is issued Makwakwa with a letter of suspension, pending an investigation into mystery payments.

But Sars and the National Treasury are yet to confirm he has been suspended.

Radebe was asked about the allegations levelled against Makwakwa during a post-cabinet briefing earlier today.

"On the issue of Sars, in reports over the weekend were not pleasing at all. I do hope that the Minister of Finance and the commissioner of Sars will deal with this matter of Makwakwa."