The official opposition has been reliably informed that deputy South African Revenue Service commissioner Jonas Makwakwa, who has been on special leave pending the outcome of an investigation into how large amounts of money ended up in his bank account, will return to work any day now.
Alf Lees, the DA’s deputy finance spokesman, said the Democratic Alliance has therefore written to the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) to request that SARS be required to report in detail on the Makwakwa matter.
This must include, Lees said:
- A detailed explanation for the alleged return to SARS of Jonas Makwakwa;
- An unabridged copy of the Hogan Lovells investigation report;
- Whether the Financial Intelligence Centre has been informed of the outcome of the Hogan Lovells investigations; and
- What has been the outcome of the criminal investigation into the Makwakwa/Elskie matter by the Hawks?
On 15 September 2016, SARS commissioned Hogan Lovells to investigate FICA referrals that large amounts of cash deposited into Makwakwa’s, as well as Kelly-Ann Elskie’s, bank accounts.
Despite repeated requests by the DA for progress reports on the Hogan Lovells investigation SARS have steadfastly refused to give any reports, Lees reported. “It now appears that the Hogan Lovells investigation has been concluded and Makwakwa has returned to work.”
Information received indicates that Makwakwa will be assigned to a new position at SARS and that all cell phones, including that of the SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, have been prohibited from being taken into Block A of the SARS Head Office in Pretoria that houses SARS senior management, said Lees.
SARS must confirm Makwakwa’s return and fully account for it, the DA said.
It was reported that Makwakwa’s girlfriend, Kelly-Ann Elskie, returned to duty at SARS last week.
Makwakwa and Elskie were suspended in September 2016. It was revealed at the time that the Financial Intelligence Centre had flagged the pair for several suspicious payments made into their personal bank accounts. Makwakwa was alleged to have made deposits of some R1.2 million into a number of bank accounts over a six year period starting in 2010.
SARS commissioner Tom Moyane apparently did not report the matter to police at the time. Makwakwa was suspended after the story was written about in the media.