Public Protector wants Hawks to investigate SARS commissioners

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane looks to be picking ANOTHER fight with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Once again, the issue relates to Gordhan’s time as SARS Commissioner. According to a new report from Mkhwebane, the hawks need to consider having a closer look at a specific R100 million contract.

SARS Saga: Mkhwebane vs Gordhan

On Friday, Mkhwebane and her office released a series of reports into various completed investigations. In one report, she handed the City of Johannesburg a 30-day deadline to sort out irregular municipal account billing.

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But as is normally the case, it is her findings and recommendations for SARS that could have the most political damage.

In her latest SARS investigation, Mkhwebane asked the Hawks to consider investigating several successive commissioners. Mkhwebane wants the Hawks to find out why the commissioners signed off an R100m contract that “did not go to tender”.

Mkhwebane found that the contract had been renewed more than 10 times.

The commissioners who signed off on the deal range from Pravin Gordhan, Ivan Pillay, Tom Moyane and even current commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Gordhan was allegedly the first to sign it off.

Irregular appointment

In her report, Mkhwebane found that SARS irregularly appointed the company, Budge Barone & Dominick, in 2007 for “the provision of strategic projects and related services”.

“The Public Protector also found that the SARS has, over the years, continued to extend the contract in question irregularly.”

Public Protector’s Office Statement

Mkhwebane began investigating the complaint after a complaint was made by Mzwanele Manyi in 2016. Manyi is now the spokesperson of the Jacob Zuma foundation.

Mkhwebane has lost all her previous battles with Gordhan and SARS. Her previous reports into the so-called SARS rogue unit and “early retirement” scandals have all been set aside by the courts.

It is a near certainty that SARS will take the latest report on review too.

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