Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Jonas Makwakwa. Picture: SARS
Jonas Makwakwa. Picture: SARS

The Hawks have concluded their investigation into the R1.2m in suspicious and unusual transactions in the account of former SA Revenue Service  (Sars) executive Jonas Makwakwa, which were identified in a Financial Intelligence Centre report. 

Makwakwa was the de-facto second in charge  under former commissioner Tom Moyane, with 22 years of experience at the tax agency and in the powerful position as head of business and individual taxes, before his resignation earlier in 2018. 

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed on Thursday that the docket was handed to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on November 13. 

Makwakwa was suspended by Sars in 2016 after revelations of the transactions emerged in a Sunday Times report. Moyane had received the report in May 2016, but  acted on it only in September after reports about it in the media.

Makwakwa resigned from Sars in February after it emerged that a company channelling funds into his account — identified in the FIC report — was appointed as a service provider to the tax agency.

The central charge in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s disciplinary case against Moyane was his handling of the FIC report into the Makwakwa transactions. 

Moyane had in 2016 appointed law firm Hogan Lovells to investigate the allegations in the FIC report. In November 2017, Moyane allowed Makwakwa to return to work, saying he had been cleared of all charges by the law firm. 

Hogan Lovells has since told the Business Day that Moyane had lied when he said the law firm cleared Makwakwa of all charges, as the Hawks and tax investigations into the transactions were not yet concluded by that time. 

While the spotlight has largely been on Moyane, as Ramaphosa has sought to clean up Sars, Makwakwa also has a lot to answer for in addition to the FIC report. He was identified in the commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent, as key to Moyane’s restructuring of the Sars operating model. 

He was also accused by senior officials who gave evidence to the inquiry of interfering in matters of VIP taxpayers. 

Mulaudzi said he could not provide details of what the docket entailed and referred further questions to the NPA.  

The NPA in Gauteng could not immediately be reached for comment on the way forward in the matter. 

marriann@businesslive.co.za