Nugent inquiry: Treasury wants Sars commissioners held accountable

Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat says several allegations have surfaced against Tom Moyane.

FILE: Treasury Deputy Director-General Ismail Momoniat. Picture: @TreasuryRSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Treasury has proposed that the Nugent Commission of Inquiry recommend measures be adopted to hold SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioners accountable.

Several senior Treasury officials testified at the hearings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent is investigating Sars from the time Tom Moyane was appointed, in 2014.

Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat says several allegations have surfaced against Moyane.

“The Financial Intelligence Centre says Jonas Makwakwa there are suspicious transactions. For four months the commissioner keeps quiet... he doesn’t tell the minister.”

He suggests there be an independent body to investigate any claims levelled against the Sars commissioner.

“If there are stories that the Gupta family’s been treated in a particular way; we need to find a mechanism. I’m not sure whether it’s the board or tax ombud, but someone who can investigate and see if it’s true and take corrective measures quickly.”

BREAKDOWN IN SARS WORKING RELATIONSHIP

Treasury says the breakdown in the relationship between Moyane and Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene affected its revenue flows.

Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane says the working relationship and reporting lines between a Sars commissioner and Nene needs to be firmly established.

He says when there is a breakdown in trust, as he has witnessed, there are significant implications.

“That at some point in this relationship, in the last few years, broke down. In terms of who appointed who... I’m not accountable to this minister, I was appointed by the president. Which really put a clog in the system and that affected my revenue streams.”

Mogojane has proposed a mechanism to hold errant commissioners accountable.

Consultancy firm Bain is scheduled to testify on Thursday.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)