MPs grill Moyane on Makwakwa allegations
CAPE TOWN — South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane was put on the spot in Parliament on Wednesday when he was cornered into conceding that he has not met Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza to discuss damning allegations against Jonas Makwakwa, the agency’s secondin-command.
Moyane has been embroiled in the scandal over SARS’ so-called rogue unit, and he had approached the police to investigate the legality of the unit. He was part of a delegation from the state’s AntiCorruption Task Team — encompassing SARS, the Hawks, the departments of justice and public service, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority — that appeared before the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) and revealed it had dealt with graft cases amounting to R10.5bn.
When Scopa members asked Moyane whether or not he and LtGen Ntlemeza had met to discuss allegations of suspicious deposits being made into Makwakwa’s bank account, Moyane said: “I have not met the general to present this matter. This process will take place in line with the laws of SA.
“If we use the media as a distributor of information to the public, we will allow dangerous information to spread to the committee, which is not true.”
The discussion at Scopa then shifted back to the task team’s work. Ntlemeza said since 2014, 399 state officials had been convicted and 931 others were convicted since 2010, when the task team was set up. A total of 462 individuals had been involved in corruption. The amount involved in the cases probed since 2010 was R10.592bn.
“The total number of cases dealt with is 189. [Of these] 68 have been finalised. Cases still under investigation are at 77. Serious corruption cases on the court roll are at 44,” Ntlemeza said.
However, the presentation was thin on detail when it came to graft at state-owned entities.
Scopa member and DA MP David Christie Ross asked Ntlemeza why there were no details of corruption probes at parastatals.
The Hawks’ Alfred Khana said that the task team was busy with investigations involving the Passenger Rail Agency of SA and Denel.
Scopa chairman Themba Godi said he was grateful for the longawaited meeting, but committee members were more scathing of the task team’s performance and questioned why the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, the leading agent, had not been present at the engagement.
Scopa member and ANC MP Vincent Gregory Smith said the task team had a 28% success rate.