South Africa 3.8.2018 12:14 pm

Moyane’s supporters accuse Gordhan of not being Mr Clean

Pravin Gordhan addresses media and demonstrators outside the National Treasury, Pravin was fired the night before as the Minister of Finance during a Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma, 31 March 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Pravin Gordhan addresses media and demonstrators outside the National Treasury, Pravin was fired the night before as the Minister of Finance during a Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma, 31 March 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The public enterprises minister is accused of having a hand in the irregular employment of officials at Sars.

The backers of suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane have accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of having a hand in creating a post for the wife of financial consultant Robert Head, the Mail & Guardian reports.

According to the report, the appointment of Head’s wife at the tax agency was part of a deal to secure his services at Sars.

Head’s then wife Elizabeth Hargreaves was employed at Sars in 2012 at R2 million a year to manage the agency’s website.

A source told the publication that Hargreaves’ job had been created at Sars so she could be closer to her partner Head, who denied the allegation.

Another allegation made by Moyane’s backers is that Gordhan and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula had signed “approved” on a motivational letter for the appointments of Head and Hargreaves.

Head was employed at the revenue service on a three-year contract as special adviser to Magashula at R3 million a year, his and Hargreaves’ combined salary adding up to a total R5 million.

The divorced pair’s salaries are relatively more than the maximum annual package for their respective pay grades.

Hargreaves’ proposed salary was reportedly R200 000 more than the job she was appointed for at Sars, which was graded 8B.

It is further reported Moyane’s backers may use the allegations against Gordhan at the Nugent commission of inquiry into the running of Sars, where the suspended commissioner is facing serious allegations of misconduct, as well as in Moyane’s disciplinary hearing.

Moyane has been accused by Gordhan of running Sars into the ground.

This week, the suspended Sars commissioner lost all the objections he had lodged against his disciplinary inquiry.

Moyane had taken issue primarily with there being two inquiries involving him at the same time, and he particularly didn’t want an affidavit by Minister Pravin Gordhan to be admitted as evidence against him. However, Bham has agreed with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s legal team that Gordhan’s evidence is admissible on the basis of him being a witness, with questions about his authority to do so not being relevant.

Moyane had objected to the minister of public enterprises and Sars commissioner’s affidavit, claiming he didn’t have authority to speak on the matter.

The weekly publication reported Gordhan denied his alleged involvement in Head’s employment.

The minister told the publication that such a decision could be made by the management of the revenue service and that he and Magashula being informed about Head’s appointment had only been for administrative purposes.

An insider at Sars told the publication that Head’s position had been created by Gordhan and Magashula.

Two sources said Head had negotiated with Magashula to appoint Hargreaves.

Head insists Gordhan had approved his and his wife’s employment, saying Hargreaves’ role “disappeared” because it was split into two.

Head denied that he had made a request for Hargreaves to be employed at Sars.

The weekly paper reports that attempts to reach Hargreaves for comment were unsuccessful at the time of going to publication.

Magashula referred the newspaper’s enquiries to the revenue service, telling the weekly that as former commissioner, he was prohibited from commenting on matters arising at Sars.

Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela said the agency could not comment on its internal processes and employee information, as this information is confidential according to its human resources policies.

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