Yunus Carrim, chairman of the standing committee on finance. Picture: SUPPLIED
Yunus Carrim, chairman of the standing committee on finance. Picture: SUPPLIED

Yunus Carrim, the chairman of Parliament’s standing committee on finance, has responded to South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane’s complaint about committee members being given a copy of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report pertaining to SARS’s head of business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa.

In his letter to Carrim, Moyane said the report had been illegally made public as the Financial Intelligence Centre Act prohibited publication of the centre’s reports.

The report on Makwakwa, who returned to work at SARS after being found not guilty in a disciplinary inquiry, noted that suspicious transactions amounting to R1.2m had been identified in his account.

Committee members were provided with copies of the FIC report by parliamentary legal adviser Frank Jenkins. This was on the justification that it was already in the public domain, having been published by the Daily Maverick online newspaper.

Moyane asked Carrim to ask Jenkins to provide the link to the Daily Maverick article "to demonstrate the report being in the public domain". He said SARS had failed in its attempt to access and retrieve the report from the newspaper’s website.

Carrim was rather biting in his reply, saying the report was in the public domain and he saw nothing wrong with Jenkins distributing it as committee members could have easily accessed it on the Daily Maverick website.

"It’s not clear to me why your office or a SARS legal representative couldn’t just contact advocate Jenkins and get the Daily Maverick website link," Carrim wrote. "Contrary to the tone and content of your letter, it’s not advocate Jenkins’s responsibility, in my view, to give you the link. But, fine, I asked him, and he says: ‘You would need to scroll down and open the following link: Scorpio: The Makwakwa Dossier, Part One – Moyane, Hogan Lovells and the investigation that never really was.

Then scroll down and open the following link:

"It’s also not clear why, if it’s as easy to locate as advocate Jenkins suggests … not a single SARS IT or other staff member cannot locate it. And how is it possible that SARS was not aware that it is on the website until it appeared in the committee. Very odd.

"In the meanwhile, on the very day you write to me, there’s yet another article in the Maverick, ‘Scorpio: The Makwakwa Dossier, Part 3 — Why SARS No 2’s erratic spending pattern raised red flags with Financial Intelligence’. Accurate or not, I can’t say. But the damage continues."