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Sars IT infrastructure head struggles to answers questions at Nugent Inquiry

Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane testified on Wednesday at the Nugent Commission, but struggled to give answers to straightforward questions and appeared to contradict herself.

FILE: A video screengrab of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into Sars on 25 September 2018.

PRETORIA - The South African Revenue Service’s head of IT infrastructure has provided some insight as to why the organisation’s hardware and software has not been properly maintained since 2014.

Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane testified on Wednesday at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry, but struggled to give answers to straightforward questions and appeared to contradict herself.

The commission heard this week that Sars’ IT system is outdated and could take hundreds of millions of rand and several years to be brought up to speed.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane spent her two hours testifying being evasive and vague, or simply passing the buck. At times her answers left the commission puzzled.

“You see judge, your job is to ask difficult questions. But some of them, in my view, I think the commissioner will be testifying.”

Former chief operations officer Barry Hore is scheduled to testify on Thursday.

CONFUSION

A former Sars contractor described the confusion and uncertainty by employees about their roles after the new operating model was introduced.

IT contractor David Wickens on Wednesday testified at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria.

Wickens led a team which dealt with IT procurement which continuously kept the Sars infrastructure and software up to date.

Evidence leader advocate Lunga Siyo led Wickens through his evidence.

“What was the effect of the new structure on your division?”

Wickens responded: “The new operating model had been complexly published. It was written out completely. I would assume that this function subsumed by the central procurement capability.”

Wickens explained the effect this had on some staff.

“There was still a great deal of confusion on the roles and the extent of individual responsibilities. From what I understand, there are still areas of responsibility that have yet to be clarified.”

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa released the commission’s interim report on Tuesday, which recommends that Commissioner Tom Moyane be fired immediately.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)