South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has assured Members of Parliament (MPs) that allegations of a link between his chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa – no stranger to controversy – and a company given a lucrative contract to collect old, oustanding taxes will be investigated.
Briefing parliament’s standing committee on finances, Moyane and his team were asked about media reports that New Integrated Credit Solutions (Nics), named as being part of a possible money-laundering scheme in a leaked Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report, had any link to Makwakwa.
“As to whether Mr Makwakwa has shares with Nics, I don’t know. If Mr Makwakwa has shares, he has to come clean with me. For the moment, I don’t know whether he has shares with that company. All that I know is that Nics has been there, there is a surname Makwakwa in that company, Onnica Makwakwa,” said Moyane.
“Mr Makwakwa declared in that [bid adjudication committee] meeting with my chief officers that he has no relationship with this Onnica Makwakwa as a director of NICS.”
Sars announced last week that Nics was one of eight companies appointed to collect around R16.6 billion in old, uncollected taxes, freeing the institution’s employees up to focus on “fresh collectable debt”.
The Daily Maverick reported today that the FIC report, concluded in May 2016, which looked at various suspicious and unusual deposits into Makwakwa’s personal bank account, showed that more than R17 million had flowed from the Department of Water and Sanitation through Nics and various other entities, with R480 000 landing up in Makwakwa’s account.
The media report also links Patrick Monyeki, a friend of Moyane, to Nics.
During his briefing to MPs, Moyane bemoaned the media for being “invasive” and “creating an aspersion on my character”, saying he would not deny his association with Monyeki. At the same time, Moyane denied knowing whether Monyeki had interests in Nics.
“I am a civil servant. I know as many people as politicians with me, therefore, to have a certain credibility dotted line on this matter, I find it very unbecoming and in fact it brings the institution that we represent into disrepute,” said Moyane.
Sars executive Mandisa Mokwena told MPs the information of a possible link between Nics and Makwakwa only came to the attention of the revenue service on Monday, assuring MPs an investigation would be pursued.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to that information. We are definitely going to investigate it. An investigation will mean we put those allegations to Mr Makwakwa and ask him to respond to it formally,” she said.
Makwakwa returned to Sars in November 2017 after a disciplinary hearing, chaired by Terry Motau, SC, cleared him of wrongdoing related to the suspicious deposits into his bank account.
– African News Agency (ANA)