Sars IT boss apologises for 'regrettable' Nugent Inquiry conduct

Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane humiliated herself during the live interview on SABC last week.

A screengrab of Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane during her interview with the SABC.

CAPE TOWN – South African Revenue Service (Sars) head of IT infrastructure says her conduct during a television interview and at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry was regrettable.

Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane came off as combative while giving evidence at the inquiry.

Sars' head of IT infrastructure apologised in her personal capacity.

In her letter, Makhekhe-Mokhuane apologised saying "she may have given an impression of arrogance, nonchalance and unprofessionalism".

Sars chief officer for governance, international relations, strategy and communications Hlengani Mathebula has responded to her letter.

“They’ve noted her apology but let me say this apology has not been processed through the organisation. It’s a matter she dealt with in her personal capacity.”

Mathebula says Makhekhe-Mokhuane is currently on leave and will meet with the acting commissioner to discuss what led to her behaviour.

Last week, Makhekhe-Mokhuane provided some insight as to why the organisation’s hardware and software had 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The commission heard that Sars’ IT system is outdated and could take hundreds of millions of rand and several years to be brought up to speed.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.”

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)