SARS renewed rogue unit charges show desperation
The renewed attempt to prosecute former SARS officials in connection with the discredited “rogue unit” claims smacks of desperation by the National Prosecuting Authority.
The KPMG report on which these allegations were based has not only been discredited but also withdrawn and KPMG itself is subject to an inquiry on this report. The case was opened in 2015, there was a failed attempt to prosecute, before it was dropped. What we now see is a desperate attempt to revive this case with insufficient indication of new evidence.
“The revival of these charges highlights the need for Government to replace both Shaun Abrahams as the National Director of Public Prosecutions and Tom Moyane as SARS Commissioner, both of whom have shown continual bias in their defence of state capture,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA CEO.
Former SARS officials Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg are due to appear in court on 9 April, following being served the revived charges last week - charged with corruption, taking bribes and intercepting communications.
OUTA believes that the authorities should instead be focusing on prosecuting real wrongdoing within SARS.
Of serious concern are new developments of last Friday, when SARS announced the hiring of debt-collection companies to collect R16.6 billion it says is owed in outstanding revenue. However, amongst these debt collectors is one company - New Integrated Credit Solutions - which was implicated last year in suspicious payments which ended up with SARS CEO Jonas Makwakwa.
In November last year, OUTA wrote the Standing Committee on Finance about the Financial Intelligence Centre report which highlighted suspicious payments into the accounts of Makwakwa and his partner and colleague, Kelly-Ann Elskie. New Integrated Credit Solutions was implicated in moving some of this money.
In its letter, OUTA asked the Standing Committee to look into the failure by SARS and Moyane to investigate this matter.
“This latest development raises more questions about why SARS is hiring a debt collection company which has been linked to suspicious payments to serving SARS officials,” says Duvenage. “This smacks once again of a blatant extension of state capture within Government.”