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Senior Sars official accused of leaking whistleblower identities

Sars fraud investigator Yousaf Denath says his emails were among those targeted.

FILE: Sars commissioner Tom Moyane and other executives during a briefing on the KPMG report. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A senior Sars official who allegedly worked closely with former Commissioner Tom Moyane has been accused of leaking the identities of whistleblowers through irregular access to the revenue service’s email server.

Two officials testified on Wednesday at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry about how restructuring under Moyane crippled the revenue service’s ability to investigate internal fraud and corruption.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent is investigating tax administration and governance during Moyane’s tenure, which started in September 2014.

The head of Sars anti-corruption unit, who may not be identified, says Gobi Makhanya was granted access to the Sars email server towards the end of 2016.

“It was put in that request that these people are somehow linked to cigarette smuggling. In that list, there are at least two managers in our environment.”

Sars fraud investigator Yousaf Denath says his emails were among those targeted.

“Every whistleblower, every complainant or persons who reported anything, their details and what they reported is on my laptop.”

Denath referred to one colleague who was targeted because of the information obtained in those emails.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)