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‘Sars' R1 trillion milestone was just smoke and mirrors’

A former Treasury official Cecil Morden presented a report that showed a decline in tax revenue collected under now suspended Tom Moyane.

FILE: Tom Moyane on 18 September 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The commission of inquiry into the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has heard that Tom Moyane's celebration over being the first commissioner to reach the R1 trillion mark for collected taxes was just smoke and mirrors.

A former Treasury official Cecil Morden presented a report that showed a decline in tax revenue collected under now suspended Moyane.

The inquiry is investigating whether non-governance at Sars contributed to this decline.

Moyane’s lawyer Dali Mpofu was at pains to point out that his client was the first commissioner to collect R1 trillion in taxes in South Africa.

“Mr [Pravin] Gordhan also didn’t tell you that for the first time in the history of South Africa that more than R1 trillion was collected under commissioner Moyane.”

But Morden says that figure is not what it was made out to be.

“It is inevitable that we would have reached the trillion-rand mark. The trillion mark level was just smoke and mirrors, really.”

He further told the commission that while the sluggish economy may have contributed to less taxes collected in the last financial year amounting to a R50 billion shortfall, other issues also played a part.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)