Gordhan concerned about leadership at Sars

Some transactions involving Jonas Makwakwa were caught on camera by investigators.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says he's concerned about the leadership of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) after its failure to suspend a top official for suspicious cash deposits and transfers into his account.

Some of the transactions involving Jonas Makwakwa and another Sars employee Kelly-Ann Elskie were caught on camera by investigators.

Gordhan has for the first time revealed details about the scandal in a written response to parliamentary questions by the Democratic Alliance.

Gordhan says the matter is "exceptionally serious" as Makwakwa is one of Sars' most senior officials and was appointed by his boss, Tom Moyane.

Sars has told Gordhan that Moyane received the report from the Financial Intelligence Centre on 18 May.

Makwakwa was only suspended last month after the Sunday Times broke the story.

Gordhan says this was the first he knew about the allegations.

He says it's perturbing that Makwakwa was allowed to remain in his post.

The Finance Minister adds that he has yet to be officially informed by Sars of Makwakwa's suspension and says these and other matters raise serious concerns about the stewardship of a vital fiscal institution.