Natasha Marrian Deputy editor: Financial Mail
Mark Kingon, acting commissioner of Sars. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Mark Kingon, acting commissioner of Sars. Picture: BLOOMBERG

The 90-day term of acting South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Mark Kingon ended on Thursday, and speculation is that it could be extended. 

Axed Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's court loss this week opened the way for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a permanent commissioner to turn around the embattled tax agency. 

Business Day understands that Kingon's term may be extended, pending a process to be put in place by Ramaphosa to appoint a new commissioner.

However, an extension has to be signed off by finance minister Tito Mboweni. The treasury could not immediately respond on the matter, while the presidency could not be reached for comment. 

The South African Revenue Service Act allows the finance minister to appoint an acting commissioner for a period of 90 days at a time. Kingon was appointed by former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in March and this has since been extended twice. 

The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday dismissed Moyane's application to block Ramaphosa from appointing a successor and to stop the Sars commission of inquiry into administration and governance of the tax agency, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent, from submitting its final report to Ramaphosa. 

Moyane's loss means that Ramaphosa is now cleared to appoint a permanent Sars boss and Nugent can submit his final report, which his legal counsel last week told the court was ready to go.

The deadline for the submission of the report is Friday this week.

Nugent in his interim report urged Ramaphosa to axe Moyane and urgently appoint a new commissioner, however, he added that the president should follow "an open and transparent process that is subject to critical appraisal, but without compromising the urgency of the appointment".

While Moyane has indicated that he will appeal against Tuesday's judgement, he has not yet filed an application to do so. 

marriann@businesslive.co.za