20 Mar

South African Tax Agency Head to Face Hearing After Suspension

South African tax collection agency boss Tom Moyane was suspended and will face disciplinary proceedings as newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration moved to restore trust in the institution.

The ouster was Ramaphosa’s latest step to replace Jacob Zuma appointees in the government since taking over the presidency last month after his predecessor was forced to step down by the ruling party.

He’s also removed the board of the state power utility, which is laden with debt and has been implicated in a graft scandal.

Mcebisi Jonas, a former deputy finance minister, is being considered for the post, but it’s unclear whether he would accept it, according to two people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Jonas couldn’t immediately be reached for comment and the National Treasury, which oversees the tax agency, didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

The decision to suspend Moyane as commissioner of the South African Revenue Service came on Monday after he refused to resign during a meeting with Ramaphosa, the Presidency said in a statement.

Ramaphosa said in a letter to Moyane that under his leadership there had been a deterioration in public confidence in the agency and that public finances had been “compromised.”

“For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen,” the president said in the letter.

As the events of the past few days unfolded, Moyane threatened to seek a court interdict to stop plans to remove him from his position, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mark Kingon has been appointed acting commissioner, the National Treasury said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Kingon, who has been with SARS since its establishment, was the interim head of the revenue body’s business and individual taxes unit, it said.

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