Former Sars official denies existence of rogue unit

Gene Ravele says there was no rogue unit and the narrative around it was deliberately orchestrated so that enforcement could be halted.

Gene Ravele gives evidence at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into governance at the South African Revenue Service on 28 June 2018. Picture: Qaanitah Hunter/EWN

PRETORIA - A former South African Revenue Service (Sars) senior official says that investigative units at the revenue collector were dismantled simply because they were impacting well-connected people and businesses.

Gene Ravele, who left Sars after he was alleged to have been part of the so called "rogue unit", has denied all accusations that there was a unit that conducted illegal surveillance of tax payers.

He's been testifying at the commission of inquiry into Sars, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent.

Ravele says that Tom Moyane’s decision to rid Sars of all units at the forefront of enforcing tax compliance was rooted in corruption.

Ravele says there was no rogue unit and the narrative around it was deliberately orchestrated so that enforcement could be halted.

But he says this came at a cost to the economy.

He has also told the commission how Moyane gave instructions to stop all investigations and inspections into the cigarette industry.