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Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Sars will not proceed with disciplinary action against two senior executives after they quit the tax agency. 

On Wednesday, Sars announced that group executive of employee relations Luther Lebelo and IT executive Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane have agreed, after interactions between their lawyers and Sars, to end their employment contracts with the revenue service. 

Both had been suspended over allegations of serious misconduct.

This means neither of the two will have to answer questions about what they knew about the decimation of Sars under former commissioner Tom Moyane, or their role in it.

Lebelo was a close ally of Moyane and was singled out as his “hitman” by witnesses at the commission of inquiry into Sars headed by retired Judge Robert Nugent. 

Makhekhe-Mokhuane, who was appointed by Moyane, also appeared before the Nugent inquiry, and was forced to apologise for her testimony after she could not answer basic questions. 

Senior executive Hlengani Mathebula also quit last month, thus avoiding going through a disciplinary process, as new commissioner Edward Kieswetter continues a clean-up campaign, started by previous acting Sars boss Mark Kingon.

Governance failures at Sars during Moyane’s reign were partly credited for the revenue shortfalls that saw a VAT increase in 2018 for the first time in more than two decades, hurting the country’s poor. 

Moyane was fired after recommendations by the Nugent inquiry, which found him not fit to hold office and held him largely responsible for the mess the tax agency found itself in.

Kieswetter was appointed Sars commissioner in May and inherited his predecessor Moyane’s executive committee. When he first arrived at Sars he said he would first reflect on what type of senior leadership team he wanted and what skills were needed before making any decision about his executive.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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