Gartner was ‘‘not aware’’ of the glaring illegality of a key part of its conduct in acquiring the tender to diagnose the SA Revenue Service's (Sars) IT systems, the commission of inquiry into the tax body heard on Tuesday.

Gartner representative Neville Willemse was in the hot seat before the commission, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent. 

Evidence leader Carol Steinberg asked Willemse whether he was aware that it was illegal for Gartner to write up the specifications for the Sars contract, which Gartner eventually won. 

He said he did not know it was illegal and that he was not a procurement specialist.  This was after he admitted that he and Range Wave head, Patrick Monyeki — who is also Moyane's friend — had in fact written up the specifications for the contract. 

He also eventually admitted after much prompting by the commission that Gartner was not the ‘‘sole source’’ for the work required by Sars after he had initially said the company was the sole source, which is why Sars approached them. 

Monyeki's Range Wave was then subcontracted for the work by Gartner. 

Willemse battled to answer questions very soon after taking a seat in the witness chair on Tuesday. 

The Nugent inquiry previously heard that the contracts were personally overseen by former COO Jonas Makwakwa, Moyane’s close ally, in a ‘‘secretive process’’, which is now under investigation by the tax agency.​