Ramaphosa loyalists take over SARS

Ramaphosa loyalists take over SARS
Published: 05 July 2018
Changes in the South African Revenue Service top leadership were announced internally on Thursday, with two loyalists to suspended commissioner Tom Moyane shifted out of key posts and a new head of the crucial customs portfolio appointed.

Tebogo Mokoena and Luther Lebelo have been shifted back to posts they previously held.

Mokoena was appointed head of customs and excise after the departure of Jed Michelos in January.

Customs is a key area of revenue collection for SARS, and the commission of inquiry into governance at the tax agency heard last week how the customs capacity was weakened, potentially resulting in an increase in the illegal tobacco trade.

Ipsos released a study on Thursday indicating that trade in illegal cigarettes flourished during the "SARS crisis" between 2014 and 2017. The study showed that SARS lost about R7bn in revenue to the illegal tobacco trade this year.

Daily Maverick reported on Thursday that excise tax had dropped by as much as 9% in the past year.

According to an internal staff notice, Mokoena has been replaced by an executive in customs at SARS, Beyers Theron.

Theron has been appointed acting chief officer for customs and excise, while Mokoena returns to a post he held previously as chief officer for human capital and development.

Lebelo, who was previously the chief officer for human capital and development, shifts to a post he too previously held, as the executive for employment relations.

The changes are among the first by acting commissioner Mark Kingon to address the weaknesses at SARS.

He announced earlier this week that SARS is also rebuilding its enforcement capacity, which was neutralised under Moyane, according to submissions to the inquiry last week.
- businesslive
Tags: Ramaphosa, SARS,


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