Finance minister Tito Mboweni made it clear in his medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday that the leadership of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has to be strengthened. The focus up to now has been on suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, with his right-hand man and key lieutenant, Jonas Makwakwa, managing to slip under the radar, which is curious. It was, after all, fresh allegations of conflicts of interest against Makwakwa, culminating in his sudden resignation on the cusp of being suspended for a second time, that led to Moyane’s suspension by President Cyril Ramaphosa. To date, however, Makwakwa has been silent, despite damning evidence against him emerging at the Sars commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent. This includes evidence heard early in the public hearings of attempts to influence the unit at Sars focusing on VIPs to process certain refunds or meddle in the cases of high-profile individuals. Makwakwa’s role in the restructuring of the S...

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