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‘It’s perturbing Makwakwa was allowed to remain in his post for four months’

Pravin Gordhan says he first learned about the allegations against Jonas Makwakwa from a Sunday newspaper.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says it's perturbing that a top tax official was allowed to remain in his post for four months after a report detailing suspect payments into his account was handed to Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.

Gordhan's also revealed that he first learned about the allegations against Jonas Makwakwa when he read about them in a Sunday newspaper.

Some of the transactions into the accounts of Makwakwa and fellow Sars employee Kelly-Ann Elskie were captured on camera.

Gordhan says he telephoned Moyane as soon as he read about the allegations and had a meeting with him the following day.

The Finance Minister describes the matter as exceptionally serious as Makwakwa, one of the country's most senior tax officials, had also been appointed by Moyane.

Sars has now confirmed Moyane received a copy of the Financial Intelligence Centre's report on Makwakwa on 18 May.

But he remained in his position for the next four months, something Gordhan describes as perturbing.

Gordhan says he's yet to be informed whether Elskie, said to be Makwakwa's girlfriend and also alleged to have received payments, has also been suspended by Sars.

Meanwhile, Gordhan says Moyane, failed to inform him about the findings in a Financial Intelligence Centre report in an attempt to prevent the issue from going public.

The FIC informed the taxman that Sars' chief officer for business and individual tax and legal Elskie have allegedly been depositing tax money into their personal bank accounts.

Moyane has denied that he tried to hide the findings of the FIC report.

"I was about to puke; I was shocked to the nerve to read the contents of the allegations which are serious about a colleague whom I joint some few months who had taken me through the organisation."

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