The South African Revenue Services Commissioner Tom Moyane may be called on to dispute elements of his former spokesperson Adrian Lackay’s testimony at Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in Johannesburg, it was revealed on Monday.
Sars advocate Wisani Sibuyi also said its suspended deputy commissioner Jonas Makwakwa – suspended in September 2016 after R1.3 million was deposited into his and his girlfriend Sars employee Kelly-Ann Elskie’s bank accounts – could also dispute certain allegations made by Lackay.
The former spokesperson is suing Sars for constructive dismissal, claiming working conditions became so bad he was forced into resigning from the company he had worked at from 2003 until February 2015.
Sibuyi said Makwakwa would deny aspects of Lackay’s testimony, especially relating to when Lackay had said he was in the office.
“Mr Makwakwa will testify he looked for you and couldn’t find you,” Sibuyi charged Lackay, who responded he was unaware of the allegation.
Sibuyi also tried to crack Lackay’s previous testimony about going on leave despite failing to liaise with Moyane as he had been instructed.
Lackay had said he had tried to find Moyane before going on leave, yet Sibuyi showed evidence of Moyane having sent an email on the day he left.
However Lackay had set up an automated response on his email before leaving for the day and had never received it.
In his previous testimony before commissioner Joyce Nkopane, Lackay has described how he – as Sars’ senior spokesperson – was increasingly sidelined in the organisation’s “darkest hours.”
It was during January and February of 2015 and media enquiries over the “rogue unit” – since disproved – were flooding into Sars.
Lackay said on Monday he had found out about group executive Johan van Loggerenberg’s resignation through media reports.
Wisani on Monday tried it make it seem it was perfectly normal for Lackay’s bosses to boost the strength of the media team at a time when the now discredited “rogue unit” narrative was flooding headlines.
However Lackay countered he would have been fine with it if he had been kept in the loop, but he had no idea of what was going on and press releases were being issued by people who were not media professionals.
The hearing continues on Tuesday.