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Sars confirms Makwakwa's suspension

Sars says Jonas Makwakwa will remain suspended until an investigation into allegations of mystery payments.

Picture: Sars.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has now confirmed that its chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa, has been suspended with immediate effect, more than 24 hours after news of the decision first emerged.

The revenue service says Makwakwa will remain suspended until an investigation into allegations of mystery payments made into his bank account is concluded.

Sars says the suspension comes on the back of a report from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) on the matter, and Commissioner Tom Moyane met with the FIC director, seeking guidance.

But the taxman says there has been a lack of cooperation from FIC and Moyane raised this issue with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan during a brief meeting on Monday.

Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela says, "The commissioner, Mr Moyane, has gone back to ask for more information, advice and guidance on this development. But unfortunately, no information has been forthcoming from FIC."

Yesterday, Treasury said it had not been formally informed about the suspension of Makwakwa.

At the same time, the revenue service says it's decision to suspend Makwakwa is based on a report by the financial intelligence centre.

Spokespers Sandiel Memela says the suspended chief officer for business and individual tax will be temporarily replaced by Firdous Sallie.

"Mr Moyane has provided details of how this situation has unfolded, to date, to the minister and this is what has resulted in the immediate suspension of Mr Makwakwa."

During the standing committee on public accounts hearing in parliament this week, Moyane denied media reports about the allegations, 24 hours before the suspension.

Moyane has appointed an independent law firm to investigate the matter.

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