Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene approved suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane’s overhaul of the Sars operating model because he believed at the time that the motives were noble. It appears the minister took Moyane’s suggestion for the restructuring on good faith and did not anticipate that it would end in the weakening of the key state institution Nene gave evidence before the commission of inquiry into governance and administration at Sars chairs by retired judge Robert Nugent on Friday. He said he was told that the overhaul was necessary to boost revenue collection and revitalise the organisation, among other things. He said he believes the word “overhaul” was too strong. Nene said he only endorsed the process to review the structure but not its outcome — or any specific proposals He believed the intent was to strengthen revenue collection and improve Sars’s efficiency. But Nene said he was disappointed that this did not happen. He also revealed that Sars cou...

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