FIGHTING CORRUPTION is no small fate but at the rate President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is going, change is imminent within corrupt State Departments, SOEs and individuals.
During his address immediately after being elected the ANC President at the
party’s national elective congress in 2017 at Nasrec, and ultimately the country’s President, Ramaphosa minced no words by declaring “we’re gonna root out corruption” and boy he’s on fire.
On Monday Pres Ramaphosa wasted no time by suspending Sars boss Tom Moyane in a scathing letter detailing his suspension.
“Developments at the SARS under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised‚” the president wrote, in a three page letter seen by TimesLiVE.
He accused Moyane of not being willing to acknowledge his failures or “the magnitude of the consequences of your action” in the letter that was sent to Moyane after he refused to resign on Monday.
Ramaphosa said the situation at SARS could not be allowed to continue or worsen “for the sake of the country and the economy”.
“Your position is not one of any ordinary employee. Your obligation to be responsible for the performance of SARS and its functions impacts on the public purse and therefore the wellbeing of the nation as a whole‚” he said.
Ramaphosa cited two specific cases where Moyane failed at his job – firstly in managing the matter of Jonas Makwakwa‚ the former SARS chief officer for business and individual tax‚ his treatment of the report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre‚ and his failure to immediately report this to the Minister of Finance.
“You have… failed in your role as an accounting officer for SARS. As a result‚ the SARS has been fundamentally jeopardized and has lost the confidence of taxpayers‚” Ramaphosa told Moyane in the letter.
Ramaphosa further accused Moyane of bringing SARS into disrepute‚ failing in his duties and potentially jeopardizing the integrity and viability of SARS in how he managed the issue of VAT refunds.
“The disrepute in which you have brought the SARS and the government as a whole and the risk to the national Revenue Fund are enormous.”
Ramaphosa told Moyane that he had no choice but to suspend him pending disciplinary action against him and further hinted that if Moyane wanted to challenge the decision in court‚ the president was ready for that fight.
“People like Moyane and others who thought they had power under Zuma should all face the might of the law; and we hope Pres Ramaphosa will do the same to other institutions were corruption is is rife,” says the former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay, who resigned in 2017 following the instability and corrupt activities within the organization.
Former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas has been touted as the incoming Sars boss.
The question is who is next in the firing line?
Meanwhile, Mark Kingon has been appointed the acting commissioner for the SA Revenue Service‚ the Treasury announced on Tuesday morning.
Kingon stepped into the role of second-in-charge in an acting capacity at SARS last week when chief officer for business and individual taxes Jonas Makwakwa resigned.
The Treasury said in a statement on Tuesday morning that Kingon had been with SARS since its establishment and worked his way through the ranks to become the group executive for relationship management within business and individual taxes.