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Ramaphosa urged to establish Commission to investigate SARS

The Standing Committee on Finance has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to set up a Commission at the earliest opportunity to investigate shenanigans at the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

The Commission Chairperson Yunus Carrim said part of its mandate includes an investigation into how SARS has managed the allegations against  Jonas Makwakwa and Kerry-Ann Elskie and the authenticity of SARS disbandment of the supposed “rogue” intelligence unit, including through considering the significant of KPMG’s withdrawal of its recommendations on this unit.

“While we fully support representativity in SARS senior management and more generally within the organisations and have been constantly focusing on the need for this, we think the commission should also look into the exodus of senior staff in recent years,” said Carrim.

About 55 senior executives quit the job, supposedly 16 months during embattled Commissioner Tom Moyane term in office.

Carrim said in a statement on Tuesday the call for an investigation follows the recommendation in a Joint Fiscal Framework report embraced by Parliament on March 7, between Standing Committee and the Select Committee on Finance.

He added that they also wrote to President Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene a week ago, asking them to consider its request.

Carrim said his Committee welcomes the President’s decision to suspend Moyane, and urges that the disciplinary investigation into his conduct be fair, swift and decisive.

“We need to learn lessons from performance SARS in recent years and consider whether it is important to amend legislation, regulations or policies to improve the independence and functioning of the organisation,” said Carrim

Carrim said the Committee comprehends that revenue targets have not been accomplished as of late because of the logjam in monetary development, it trusts that if SARS had been more united, productive, efficient and credible, it would have raised more income than it did, regardless of the unfriendly conditions.

He said the Committee has brought this up in our quarterly meetings with SARS with little of any result.

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