Hawks hand over Sars ex­ec­u­tive’s docket to NPA

Business Day - - National - Natasha Marrian Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor mar­ri­[email protected]­nesslive.co.za

The Hawks have con­cluded their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the R1.2m in sus­pi­cious and un­usual trans­ac­tions in the ac­count of former SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) ex­ec­u­tive Jonas Mak­wakwa, which were iden­ti­fied in a Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre (FIC) re­port.

Mak­wakwa was the de facto sec­ond in charge un­der former com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane, with 22 years of ex­pe­ri­ence at the tax agency and in the pow­er­ful po­si­tion as head of busi­ness and in­di­vid­ual taxes, be­fore his res­ig­na­tion ear­lier in 2018.

Hawks spokesper­son Hang­wani Mu­laudzi con­firmed on Thurs­day that the docket was handed to the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) on Novem­ber 13.

Mak­wakwa was sus­pended by Sars in 2016 after dis­clo­sures of the trans­ac­tions emerged in a Sun­day Times re­port. Moy­ane had re­ceived the re­port in May 2016, but acted on it only in Septem­ber after the me­dia re­ports.

Mak­wakwa re­signed from Sars in Fe­bru­ary after it emerged that a com­pany chan­nelling funds into his ac­count — iden­ti­fied in the FIC re­port — was ap­pointed as a ser­vice provider to the tax agency.

The cen­tral charge in Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s dis­ci­plinary case against Moy­ane was his han­dling of the FIC re­port into the Mak­wakwa trans­ac­tions. Moy­ane had in 2016 ap­pointed law firm Ho­gan Lovells to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions in the FIC re­port.

In Novem­ber 2017, Moy­ane al­lowed Mak­wakwa to re­turn to work, say­ing he had been cleared of all charges by the law firm. Ho­gan Lovells has since told the Busi­ness Day that Moy­ane had lied when he said the law firm cleared Mak­wakwa of all charges, as the Hawks and tax in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the trans­ac­tions were not yet con­cluded by that time.

While the spot­light has largely been on Moy­ane, as Ramaphosa has sought to clean up Sars, Mak­wakwa also has a lot to an­swer for in ad­di­tion to the FIC re­port.

He was iden­ti­fied in the com­mis­sion of in­quiry, chaired by re­tired judge Robert Nu­gent, as key to Moy­ane’s re­struc­tur­ing of the Sars op­er­at­ing model. He was also ac­cused by se­nior of­fi­cials who gave ev­i­dence to the in­quiry of in­ter­fer­ing in mat­ters of VIP tax­pay­ers.

Mu­laudzi said he could not pro­vide de­tails of what the docket en­tailed and re­ferred fur­ther ques­tions to the NPA.

The NPA in Gaut­eng could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment on the way for­ward in the mat­ter.

/Sup­plied

In­ves­ti­ga­tion: SA Rev­enue Ser­vice ex­ec­u­tive Jonas Mak­wakwa has a lot to an­swer as the Hawks wrap up their probe.

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