South Africa 16.5.2018 06:08 am

Corruption Watch’s threat of private prosecution against Moyane shakes up NPA

Former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane speaks during a press briefing held at Sars offices in Pretoria on 14 March 2018. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane speaks during a press briefing held at Sars offices in Pretoria on 14 March 2018. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The lobby group is now asking renewed questions about Jonas Makwakwa.

With the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) refocusing its attention on suspended South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane, the next question has to be what is happening with Jonas Makwakwa and Kelly-Ann Elskie.

They were alleged to be “involved in or facilitating corrupt activities” while at Sars. However, the NPA was yesterday unable to verify the status of any investigation or case into Makwakwa or Elskie.

The NPA’s renewed interest in Moyane comes as a result of civil rights group Corruption Watch requesting a certificate confirming the authority had declined to prosecute Moyane. Corruption Watch wanted this in order to institute its own, private, prosecution.

“We are pleased the NPA is reviewing its decision not to prosecute Moyane,” said David Lewis of Corruption Watch yesterday. “We’ve long held the evidence is pretty strong and he should be prosecuted.”

The NPA has appeared to many to be less than enthusiastic about prosecuting Moyane, Makwakwa and Elskie, based on verifiable documentary evidence, compared to its attempts to take action against Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg on what appeared to be mostly word of mouth testimony.

The storm around Makwakwa and Elskie broke in late 2016 after a Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report over their banking transactions was leaked.

Makwakwa was then Sars’ chief officer of business, individual taxes and digital information systems while Elskie – also a Sars employee – appeared to have had a personal relationship with Makwakwa from which she benefited.

According to the FIC, Makwakwa’s personal bank account was the primary account used to receive and disburse funds.

“Credits into this account increased yearly from R1 358 817.01 in 2010 to R3 418 925.43 in 2015 (approximately 15%). Likewise, MJM’s [Makwakwa’s] payments have grown over this period, creating a dependency on suspicious cash deposits and payments to maintain his current standard of living. These payments are of concern as they originate from unknown sources,” the report stated.

As far as Elskie was concerned, the FIC found three cash deposits, totalling R450 200, into her personal bank account.

“The cash deposits were structured into two payments of R160 000 each and a payment of R130 200,” stated the FIC report.

It added the deposits were made over three consecutive days into three different branches of the same bank, all within a 10km radius.

The FIC report declared the source of the funds was unknown.

 

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