Inquiry: Ex-Sars official reveals execs shunned previous leadership

Tshebeletso Seremane detailed how she raised ethical concerns and was dismissed from her job.

A YouTube screengrab of the former head of South African Revenue Service (Sars) integrity unit Tshebeletso Seremane.

JOHANNESBURG - Former head of South African Revenue Service (Sars) integrity unit Tshebeletso Seremane has painted a damning picture of how senior executives were purged and frustrated at the revenue collector.

She was giving evidence at the commission of inquiry into Sars headed by Robert Nugent. She's detailed how she raised ethical concerns and was dismissed from her job.

Two other former Sars officials have given similar accounts, explaining there was a level of mistrust and exclusion towards senior managers from suspended Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane and those close to him.

Seremane says managers seen to be close to the previous Sars leadership were side-lined and had their portfolios taken away from them, so much so, that managers earning in the region of R1.5 million per annum were not assigned any work.

“There was that purge of those, in a way, would be associated with the previous leadership. So, if in a way you were suspected to have been very close whether to Mr [Ivan] Pillay or you were working on something with the previous [leadership], they didn’t want to hear anything about the previous leadership.”

Hearings will continue until Friday.

WATCH: Sars public hearings, 27 June 2018

'I WAS REMOVED FROM POSITION'

Former Sars group executive for its Large Business Centre (LBC) Sunita Manik says her unit was dismantled and she was removed from her position to pave the way for access to high net-worth individuals and big corporations.

Manik is also testifying at the commission of inquiry on Wednesday afternoon.

She's explained how Moyane's transformation project at the revenue collector quickly morphed into a widespread purge.

Manick has told the commission how she was removed from her position without being informed.

“There wasn’t even a handover report; everything that I did up to that day that I was removed, I was no longer allowed [to do]. Nothing. I sat in an office.”

She says the Large Business Centre was effectively collecting revenue from big companies until Moyane began interfering and the unit was then dismantled.

When asked why there was interference, Manik said a clear agenda was at play.

“If you had a different agenda to what we had, you needed to break the LBC to have access to high net-worth individuals and large corporate taxpayers.”

Her testimony followed Seremane’s who detailed how she was dismissed from Sars without an explanation after raising ethical concerns.

WATCH: Sars public hearings, 27 June 2018 Part 2

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)