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Sars inquiry might give rise to intelligence gathering on illicit trade

The commission sees no reason why Sars was and is not entitled to establish and operate a unit to gather intelligence on illicit trades even covertly within limits.

Picture: EWN

PRETORIA – The findings of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry might give rise to a covert and intelligence gathering capacity within the South African Revenue Service (sars) to focus on illicit trades such as tobacco.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday released the full report compiled by retired judge Robert Nugent.

Ramaphosa fired former Commissioner Tom Moyane in September after receiving Nugent’s interim report, the final report contains further evidence to support reasons why Moyane should not hold that office.

The commission sees no reason why Sars was and is not entitled to establish and operate a unit to gather intelligence on illicit trades even covertly within limits.

It referred to the report by Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane which declared such conduct unlawful but provided no supporting evidence and did not provide such when asked by the commission.

The commission further notes that judge frank kroon blindly accepted Sikhakane’s findings but later conceded this was wrong and such capacity should exist within Sars.

The commission says two weeks after Moyane took office, the first so-called rogue unit report was published by The Sunday Times.

It says paper did not disclose the source of the story but it could not have come at a better time for Moyane.

Within weeks, Moyane had dissolved the entire exco, which appeared to be part of the massive restructuring Moyane and Baine had planned before he even took office.