DA, IFP welcome Sars boss’ decision to resign
TWO OPPOSITION parties have welcomed the resignation of South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Oupa Magashula following investigations of alleged misconduct.
The Treasury announced Magashula’s resignation yesterday.
“Following the outcome of a fact-finding inquiry into these allegations, Magashula has resigned with effect from July 12, 2013,” Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced.
Last night DA MP Tim Harris applauded Gordhan’s move “to ensure the integrity of the tax authority is protected”.
The DA also welcomed Gordhan’s decision to appoint Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay to the position in an acting capacity, but wanted a permanent appointment as soon as “practically possible”.
The Inkatha Freedom Party also welcomed the decision.
“It is critical the institutional integrity of Sars is maintained, and therefore the resignation of commissioner Magashula must be welcomed,” party spokesman Narend Singh said.
According to media reports in March this year Magashula allegedly offered a job to a chartered accountant ( CA) in a recorded telephone conversation. The conversation was reportedly facilitated by a Timothy Marimuthu, who allegedly had influence over Magashula.
Gordhan said the media reports had raised questions about the integrity of staff recruitment processes at Sars, and he had appointed retired judge Zak Yacoob and advocate Muzi Sikhakhane to investigate.
The investigation revealed, among other things, that Magashula’s conduct had placed the reputation and credibility of Sars at risk. The commissioner had also been much less frank with the investigation committee than it would have expected, and had caused Gordhan to make an incorrect statement to the public about the CA’s CV not having been sent to Sars.
The investigation showed Magashula interacted with Marimuthu more times than he had initially admitted to the minister and the committee. He also told them he’d had no further communication with the CA, but it later transpired the accountant had sent five e-mails to Magashula’s Sars e-mail address.
Allegations of Marimuthu’s influence over Magashula could not be probed because he had not responded positively to a request for an interview.
Gordhan said he would instruct the Sars audit committee to investigate whether Magashula’s behaviour breached any tax processes. He would also appoint a committee to review Sars’ governance. – Sapa