Ramaphosa announces head, terms of Sars inquiry


Sars is set to scrutinise 1-thousand-700 South Africans, whose names appear in the Panama Papers.

JOHANNESBURG – Retired judge Robert Nugent has been appointed to head up the inquiry into the South African Revenue Service (Sars), President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed in a statement on Wednesday.

The inquiry will probe tax administration and governance issues.

It comes on the back of Ramaphosa’s promise during his 2018 State of the Nation Address (Sona) in February.

He vowed to take steps to stabilise Sars in order to better meet revenue targets.

Other members of the commission include Professor Michael Katz, Advocate Mabongi Masilo and Vuyo Kahla.

READ: The rogue spy unit: summonsing of ex-Sars employees slammed

The Presidency also set out the terms of the probe, which will focus on a number of areas.

The inquiry will look at the adequacy and legality of shortfalls in the past two years and what steps Sars took in addressing allegations of unauthorised bonuses to top executives.

Furthermore, the hearing will look at the withholding of refunds owed to ordinary taxpayers.

Deviations from established processes will also be probed, especially in cases that unfairly benefitted politically-connected individuals.

Supply-chain management and tender processes also face scrutiny.

The committee has until 30 September to file its interim report, with the final document due end November.

This inquiry is separate from the disciplinary process instituted against Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane as well as the Davis Tax Committee, which is specifically focusing on specific policy issues.

READ: Azhar Bham to head disciplinary inquiry into Tom Moyane

“The commission will need to establish the veracity of reports in the public domain on administrative and leadership challenges at Sars that potentially undermine taxpayer morality,” Ramaphosa said.

“Both the Minister of Finance and I are keenly aware of the need to demonstrate to the people of South Africa that the tax revenue collected from their hard-earned income is being used wisely, productively and for its intended purpose. We remain accountable to the people of this country,” the president added.

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