Report on Jonas Makwakwa transactions was made public illegally, says SARS head Moyane
South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane has complained that a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) on the suspicious transactions of SARS head of business and individual tax Jonas Makwakwa has been made public illegally.
The Financial Intelligence Centre Act prohibits publication of the centre’s reports.
The report on Makwakwa, who returned to work after being found not guilty in a disciplinary inquiry, noted that suspicious transactions amounting to R1.2m had been identified in his account.
In a letter to finance committee chairman Yunus Carrim, Moyane complained that members of the committee had been provided with copies of the FIC report by parliamentary legal adviser Frank Jenkins on the justification that it was already in the public domain, having been published by the Daily Maverick newspaper.
Moyane asked Carrim to ask Jenkins to provide the link to the Daily Maverick article "to demonstrate the report being in the public domain".
He said SARS had failed in its attempt to access and retrieve the report from the newspaper’s website.
"We have sought legal guidance and have been advised that the Daily Maverick website and/or those who distributed the report may have violated the FIC Act," Moyane told Carrim in his letter. "SARS believes that we are obligated to report the matter to the FIC director and we will proceed to report the matter urgently."
DA deputy finance spokesman Alf Lees described Moyane’s letter as "threatening".
He said the FIC report on Makwakwa had been publicly available on the internet. "Instead of taking action on its findings, Mr Moyane seems to be working tirelessly to stop those implicated from being held to account."
He said he had written to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba urging him to ensure Moyane suspended Makwakwa from his duties at SARS with immediate effect, at the very least until the Hawks investigations had been completed.
Lees also asked Gigaba to work with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to ensure the Hawks proceeded urgently with their investigations of the suspicious transactions.