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Sars restructuring crippled anti-corruption unit, commission hears

The witness says the anti-corruption unit she led was graded as the best in the government, yet its structure and reporting lines were changed.

A screengrab of evidence leader Advocate Carol Steinberg questions a witness at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - The Nugent Commission of Inquiry has heard how the restructuring under suspended South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane crippled the revenue service’s ability to investigate internal fraud and corruption.

Moyane appointed consultancy firm Bain and Company to restructure the organisation soon after his appointment in September 2014.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent issued a directive on Wednesday that the first witness may not be identified or filmed because of the sensitive nature of work she does related to corruption within Sars.

The witness says the anti-corruption unit she led was graded as the best in the government, yet its structure and reporting lines were changed.

“What’s remarkable for me was that a structure that had been accessed as having high to excellent anti-corruption capability, a year ago, is now said to require re-alignment and needs to improve its capacity and efficiency.”

She says the move severely hampered their ability to function.

“We moved from investigating the syndicated crime to investigating small sick leave notes, fraud, kilometre claims; that was the one impact. The other was the number of reporting of cases dropped."

WATCH: Senior Sars officials give evidence at Nugent inquiry

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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