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Moyane denies paying bonus to Makwakwa

Jonas Makwakwa was reinstated this month after a lengthy suspension.

Tom Moyane, the South  African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has denied paying any bonus to top tax official Jonas Makwakwa.

Makwakwa was reinstated this month after a lengthy suspension, triggered by a Financial Intelligence Centre report about suspicious transactions in his accounts.

Makwakwa was, however, paid a bonus of nearly R1 million during the previous financial year before his suspension.

Moyane and Sars officials are appearing before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.

"Jonas Makwakwa was not paid any bonus whatsoever in the year under review," the commissioner said.

The categorical denial from Moyane caused consternation in the committee, because the R930,000 bonus paid to Makwakwa is reflected in Sars’ annual financial statements.

A Sars official later clarified, however, telling MPs that the bonus related to the 2015/16 financial year and was paid out before he was suspended.

Moyane has also denied that Sars deliberately withheld taxpayers’ refunds in order to help it reach its revenue collection targets.

Sars collected more than R1 trillion in the past financial year.

Moyane says it would not be possible to withhold so many refunds in order to have an impact on such a large target.

An official from the tax ombudsman’s office says it's not possible for them to say whether or not Sars is deliberately withholding refunds, as the terms of reference for its recent investigation of taxpayers’ complaints did not include this.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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