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Gartner struggles to explain its appointment as Sars IT consultant

Sars appointed Gartner in 2014 by following a procurement deviation process on the basis that Gartner was a sole supplier of the particular consultancy service.

A screengrab of Gartner consultant Neville Willemse appears before the Nugent Commission on 23 October 2018.

PRETORIA – A Gartner consultant has struggled to explain how the company was appointed to assess the South African Revenue Service's (Sars) IT strategy, which led to a R150 million contract.

Neville Willemse has testified at the Nugent commission of inquiry on Tuesday.

Sars appointed Gartner in 2014 by following a procurement deviation process on the basis that Gartner was a sole supplier of the particular consultancy service.

It was put to Willemse that the deviation process was improper.

Judge Robert Nugent wanted to know whether Gartner assessed the lawfulness of their conduct.

"Did they advise you that you followed the correct process?"

Willemse answered: "There was no specific communication around that."

He has claimed that he never questioned the relationship between a businessman who is a known friend of Tom Moyane and Sars before entering a multi-million-rand contract with the revenue service.

The commission heard how businessman Patrick Monyeki approached Willemse in December 2014, saying Sars needed an assessment of its strategy.

After being awarded the contract, Gartner then subcontracted Monyeki’s company Rangewave Consulting.

Judge Nugent questioned Willemse about not establishing Monyeki’s link to Sars.

“You’re just happy that you could go along and if you could get the business and it really didn’t matter to you what his relationship was with Sars, is that the point?”

Willemse answered: "The point is, he made the initial contact and thereafter it was ourselves with Sars."

However, Willemse said they had not been in contact with Sars by the time the mandate had been put together.

WATCH: Nugent Commission of inquiry into Sars continues

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