Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene is set to give evidence to the SA Revenue Service commission of inquiry next week.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent, has been hearing evidence on what led to the R100bn hole in revenue collection by the tax agency in recent years.

Nene was finance minister during the large-scale overhaul of the Sars operating model, which led to the destruction of its large business centre, its enforcement capacity on the illicit economy and its customs, compliance and litigation units.

Nene also set up a judicial commission of inquiry into Sars during his tenure ahead of his removal and replacement by former president Jacob Zuma. He appointed retired judge Frank Kroon in 2015 to look into governance challenges at Sars but Kroon’s commission did little to turn the tide of destruction at the revenue service, as it included Sars officials who have since been implicated by employees for being at the centre of the damage done at the tax agency.

The restructuring under suspended commissioner Tom Moyane, conducted by consultants Bain & Co, neutered Sars’s capacity, according to senior officials testifying at the inquiry over the past four days.

Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba and officials from the national treasury are also set to appear before the commission.

Gigaba was the first to recommend a commission of inquiry into Sars during his tenure as finance minister -a move blocked by former president Jacob Zuma.

After Zuma’s departure, the inquiry was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his inaugural state of the nation address in February.