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Suspended SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay resigns

Friday, 08 May 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: BDlive
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Author: BDlive

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) released a terse statement early on Wednesday confirming the resignations of suspended deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and head of strategic planning and risk Peter Richer with "immediate effect".

The entity also revealed that all SARS-initiated charges and related investigations have been withdrawn.

"SARS has accepted their resignations, and hereby confirms that the parting of ways is mutually beneficial and in the interest of SARS as an institution. SARS acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of Mr Pillay and Mr Richer during their years of service and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours," it said.

For months, the tax agency was embroiled in a scandal following reports that it had established and ran a secret unit which spied on President Jacob Zuma and which had even operated a brothel.

A report by an independent panel headed by Adv Muzi Sikhakhane found the unit was indeed unlawful and recommended further investigation — by the inspector-general of intelligence Faith Radebe or by a judicial commission of inquiry.

Ms Radebe has investigated the matter but her findings have not been made public — and are unlikely to be.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday the resignations, particularly that of Mr Pillay "raise serious questions about whether he is being silenced or not”.

DA finance spokesman Dion George said in a statement Mr Pillay had been particularly vocal in questioning motives behind a raft of senior executives leaving the revenue service, and that the party would continue to pursue existing questions related to problems at SARS — including whether Mr Pillay received a R6m golden handshake.

"With his now sudden resignation, the evidence suggesting an ANC- (African National Congress)-mandated cover up is mounting,” said Mr George.

The Treasury said on Thursday the agreement to part ways in the mutual interest of both should be commended and would "end the public speculation that has dominated media reports about the developments at SARS in the past few months”.

"It is crucial that this fiscal institution be stable, effective and efficient, and conducts its work without fear or favour”.

"It is for this reason that the Minister of Finance appointed the advisory committee chaired by retired Judge Frank Kroon to advise him and the SARS Commissioner on a number of strategic and governance matters relating to SARS with the view to maintain the strength of the institution,” the Treasury said in a statement.

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Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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