There was no sympathy for suspended SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane after his suspension by President Cyril Ramaphosa, with calls for him to be tried and jailed.
There was outrage at the way in which the Commissioner had protected his deputy Jonas Makwakwa, and suspicion of other corruption.
“Since the Makwakwa story first emerged in 2016, Corruption Watch (CW) has taken numerous steps to try to hold Moyane accountable for his role in protecting Jonas Makwakwa from a proper investigation following the FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre) report, which implicated Makwakwa and (his girlfriend) Elskie in suspicious transactions relating to money laundering and other criminal activities,” trumpeted Corruption Watch.
“The FIC report required further investigation by the Hawks yet it is our understanding that Moyane did not report this matter to the Hawks as required from him, and furthermore provided the FIC report to Makwakwa and Elskie in beach of the FIC Act, a criminal offence in terms of that act.
“We charged Moyane for his alleged criminal conduct in December 2016 and were informed in December 2017 that the Hawks had completed their investigation into Moyane but that the NPA has declined to prosecute.
“We have therefore written to the NPA requesting reasons for declining to prosecute and requesting a certificate which would allow CW to privately prosecute Moyane, given that the NPA has refused to do so and there is clear evidence of him breaching pieces of legislation that attract criminal penalties.
“The Makwakwa affair and the relentless hounding by the Hawks and NPA of those SARS officials who attempted to resist the capture of SARS establish yet again that among the urgent tasks facing the Ramaphosa administration, none are more urgent than the necessity to clean out SARS, the NPA and the Hawks.”
David Lewis, executive director of CW, commented: “We have said before and we say again: there is no individual that has caused greater harm to the interests of democratic South Africa than Tom Moyane.
“His conduct is little short of treasonous. He belongs behind bars and we will do our utmost to ensure that he gets his just desserts.”
OUTA noted that “the critical function of SARS requires efficiency, integrity and strong action taken against perpetrators.
”OUTA believes that these responsibilities have waned during Mr Moyane’s tenure.
“In the recent past, OUTA has monitored the state’s revenue services closely and has publicly pointed out the decline in income and performance which we attribute directly to the dubious nature of the leadership in this critical institution.”
Said OUTA COO Ben Theron: “For too long Tom Moyane has been allowed to run this once-proud institution into the ground. We are expecting that his suspension will result in disciplinary action and ultimately his dismissal.
“This, we hope, will pave the way for SARS to be led by an impartial inspirational head who is dedicated to collecting state funds for the upliftment of all South Africans and restoring our country’s economic integrity.”
OUTA said it is impressed with “the momentum and gravitas of the President to rid the country of officials who do not espouse the values of our constitution and who do not work in the best interests of the people.
“Every cent is valuable for development and it is critical that our officials embody a high moral standing.”
“OUTA urges President Ramaphosa to appoint a credible leader who can rebuild this once respected institution.
“We trust this action will bring more comfort to international ratings agencies and the investment community at large. The appointment of a Commissioner who puts the people of South Africa first is imperative to undoing the rot that has transpired since former President Zuma took office in 2009.“
Meanwhile, the DA’s Alf Lees described the decision to suspend Tom Moyane as SARS Commissioner as “long overdue given the destruction of the reputation of SARS whilst under his leadership.
“Mr Moyane’s mismanagement of the tax authority led to a severe decline in taxpayer morality and has thus contributed towards the decline in tax revenue collections.
“While the DA welcomes the resignation of Jonas Makwakwa, the SARS manager Corporate and Individual tax, and the suspension of Tom Moyane, we believe that more should be done to restore the integrity of SARS.”