SARS is saved from Moyane

The DA welcomes the announcement that President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed Mr. Tom Moyane as the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

In the short period of a mere three and a half years in charge of SARS, Tom Moyane managed to reduce the vital entity  from being a world leader in tax collection to being a friend of the ANC’s State Capture project.

In the words of Judge Nugent in the Interim Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by the South African Revenue Service, “the day Mr. Moyane took office was a calamity for SARS.”

The DA expresses its thanks to Mark Kingon, the acting SARS Commissioner, for taking on the very difficult task of stopping the destruction at SARS and starting to fix the rot left by Tom Moyane. We urge him to continue the valuable work he has embarked upon and therefore ensuring that the path towards restoring taxpayer trust in SARS is not deviated from.

Fully restoring the reputation of SARS in the eyes of the public will require the urgent appointment of a permanent Commissioner of SARS. The identification of a new SARS Commissioner must be completely transparent and must be based solely on merit.

President Cyril Ramaphosa would be misguided to simply rely on section 6.(1) of the South African Revenue Service Amendment Act No. 46 of 2002 to appoint a new SARS Commissioner as he sees fit.

Instead President Ramaphosa must embark upon a completely transparent process to identify the best possible candidates of impeccable integrity and then to take considered advice from a range of experts in the tax and revenue collection fields before determining who the new SARS Commissioner is to be.

Tito Mboweni must deal with a “six pack” of challenges during the “mini budget” in Parliament

Please find the Preview Statement of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement 2018 here.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new path” of economic growth, employment and transformation was shattered when the economy slipped into recession in South Africa.

We are now in deep economic trouble, with ordinary people, experiencing an income squeeze, following tax increases and petrol price hikes, and with 9.6 million people who do not have jobs, or who have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.

What this means is that the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni’s, “mini-moon” is over and he faces a six pack” of challenges that will have to be dealt with in his “maiden” Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, which will be delivered on 24 October 2018 in Parliament.

We believe the minister should:

  • define himself by explaining his flirtation with radical economic transformation and clarifying his views on extending state ownership in the mining sector, establishing a state bank and creating a sovereign wealth fund;
  • present a credible plan to boost economic growth to at least 3% by announcing a package of structural reforms designed to increase private sector investment;
  • hold the fiscal line by announcing a comprehensive spending review and presenting a credible plan to stabilise national debt at, or below, 50% of GDP;
  • restore public trust by announcing that the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service, Tom Moyane, will be removed and a new appointment will be made without delay;
  • announcing that the national airline will be placed in business rescue with a view to privatising, or part privatising, South African Airways; and
  • disclosing the terms and conditions of the confidential R33.4 billion loan to Eskom from the Chinese Development Bank.

We believe that if Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, deals decisively with the “six pack” of challenges during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, he will give hope to the 9.6 million people who do not have jobs, or who have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.

Implicated ANC members must appear before Zondo Commission, not hide behind limited “submissions”

Today, ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, stated that the ANC will make submissions, in response to testimony given by several banks, to the Zondo Commission on State Capture. This is not good enough.

Ironically, Mr Magashula has been implicated in state capture during his tenure as Free State Premier and should be among the first ANC members to appear before the commission to answer key questions.

Numerous other high-ranking ANC officials have been implicated in State Capture. They must appear before the Commission and answer each and every allegation levelled against the party and its members.

The DA’s lawyers have written to the Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, to request confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza be called to testify before the Commission. We await a reply and hope the Commission will consider our request favourably.

State capture stole from the people of South Africa and compromised their future as money that should have been spent on improving lives, was syphoned off to the ANC political elite.

There must be consequences for those who steal from the people South Africa. The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all money is spent on the people and if voted into government, will ensure that anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

We must face up to the fact that State capture did not begin with the election of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009. State capture and corruption is central to the ANC’s very nature and being, and there is much to answer for.

In the interests of justice, the ANC must appear before the Zondo Commission into State Capture

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a picket outside the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by Team One South Africa member for Corruption, Phumzile van Damme, Team One South Africa member for State Capture, Natasha Mazzone, and Team One South Africa Campaign Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi

Today we are gathered outside the Zondo Commission into State Capture to make one thing clear: the ANC must be called before the Commission, to play open cards and to answer each and every allegation levelled against the party and its members so that South Africans can be assured no stone has been left unturned in the pursuit of justice. Corruption and state capture is an enemy of the poor, vulnerable and jobless, and steals opportunity from South Africans by making ANC-connected cadres rich.

Nine days ago, the DA’s lawyers wrote to the Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, to request confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza be called to testify before the Commission.

Our lawyers have not yet received a response to our letter to Dr De Wee from 18 September. We reiterate this call and implore the Commission to consider this request in light of the sheer depth of corruption and capture, and its damaging effects on the livelihoods of ordinary South Africans. Nothing in the Commission’s Terms of Reference bar it from calling the above-mentioned individuals to appear and to account.

We applaud the great work already carried out by the Commission and look forward to observing today’s proceedings. The Commission has rightly focussed on inquiring into the truth behind state capture and have not permitted a trial of the losing ANC faction from last year’s ANC National Conference at Nasrec to take root. This is not about settling scores, it’s about ensuring those who stole the people’s money are held to account and are put behind bars.

While the ANC must account for their leading role in State Capture and their senior leadership must testify, the Commission cannot become a tool to settle ANC internal factionalism and navigate ANC cadre deployment. These 12 ANC members can mitigate this risk by telling the truth before the Commission.

State capture did not begin with the election of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009. Rather, state capture and corruption is central to the ANC’s very nature and being. Cadre deployment has been an ANC policy for the better part of 20 years, allowing corruption, nepotism, cronyism and ultimately state capture to ensue.

It defies reason for President Cyril Ramaphosa to have not known about ANC involvement in state capture as he was second in command of both the ANC and the country as Deputy President. He must appear before the Commission to explain whether he knew about state capture, and what he did about it once he found out.

The Minister for Woman in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini, has famously quipped that most within the ANC have their own ‘smallanyana skeletons.’ South Africa deserves a Commission that will call these ANC members to unearth the truth behind the ANC’s leading role in the capturing of the state.

State capture is a criminal system that continues to operate parallel to national government. Change that builds One South Africa for All hinges on South Africans knowing the truth behind this shadow state.

The DA’s plan to fighting corruption like this includes establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption. Our agenda for change also intends to bring in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their Mayors, Premiers and President directly accountable.

The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all money is spent on the people and if voted into government, will ensure that anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail. The ANC is the same old part full of empty promises and rewarding their failure to fight corruption won’t change anything.

Our Constitutional democracy will not survive another quarter century of state capture. Jacob Zuma’s continued denial of its mere existence drastically increases the risk of a circulation of ANC capture through different actors.

The ANC, as arch architects of corruption and state capture, must appear before this Commission and tell South Africans the truth.

DA lawyers request State Capture Commission confirm 12 ANC witnesses

Our lawyers have written to Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, requesting confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza will be called to give testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

The DA’s complaints against all 12 of these ANC members are a matter of public record and need to be thoroughly investigated. Considering information in the public domain and testimony already heard before the Commission, their testimony is material in allowing the Commission to fulfil its mandate.

Testimonies before the Commission have made it clear that the ANC knew full well that state capture was underway and did absolutely nothing to stop it from happening.

As recently as Tuesday, Mantashe and Duarte were implicated by the testimony given on behalf of Standard Bank at the hearing. While fellow ANC top 6 member and Deputy President, David Mabuza, is three years overdue coming clean about his 2015 trip to Moscow on a Gupta owned aircraft when Premier of Mpumalanga.

Former President Jacob Zuma has been directly implicated in allegations by testimony before the Commission, but while the Commission has requested he submit an affidavit to the Commission, it is not clear whether he will be called to testify in person.

The Gupta’s siphoning of hundreds of millions intended for farmers in the Estina Dairy Farm project has not yet led to any real accountability. Former Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, needs to attest to his involvement in this large-scale looting when Free State Agriculture MEC. It is also critical that former SSA Director General, Arthur Fraser, reveal whether he used the SSA as a bulwark against threats to state capture.

For eight years, the ANC’s Parliamentary majority have shielded the guilty from any real accountability, while state capture continued at Luthuli House, the Union Buildings, Mineral Resources, Home Affairs, Finance, SOEs, SARS, and the SSA. Because ANC capture is the protagonist of state capture.

The ANC must face the music for their leading role in state capture and its senior leadership must testify before the Commission.

An agenda for change to build One South Africa For All rests on South Africans knowing the truth. These 12 ANC members know the truth behind the state capture project and South Africa deserves a Commission that will call them as witnesses to shine light on the proceedings.

 

DA welcomes disciplinary charges against Tom Moyane

The DA welcomes the decision taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa to serve former SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, with disciplinary charges for alleged misconduct in the discharge of his duties while he was still the head of the tax authority.

This move is long overdue and we are confident that retired Constitutional Court judge, Kate O’Reagen, who has been appointed to preside over the disciplinary hearings, will ensure that the process will be fair and transparent.

Mr Moyane must be held to account for his role in the erosion of institutional governance at SARS and the decline in tax morality due to low public trust in the tax revenue service.

The DA is hopeful that the disciplinary hearings will be the start of a new chapter for SARS as it begins the long and arduous process to be a tax authority that all South Africans can all be proud of.

Early signs of institutional restoration are already evident under the acting SARS Commissioner, Mark Kingon and we hope that he will be given all the necessary support to help refocus SARS to deliver on its core mandate without fear, favour or political interference.

Fringe tax benefits accrued to Zuma should include R1.5m herd of cattle from Supra

The DA has written to the Acting SARS Commissioner, Mark Kingon, to request an update on whether SARS is indeed investigating the liability by former President Jacob Zuma to pay tax on the State-funded fringe benefits that have accrued to him.

This follows reports over the weekend, that North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, handed Zuma R1.5 million of prime cattle in 2016, using public funds. If these reports are true, this may be yet another fringe benefit that accrued to Zuma during his disastrous term as president and requires an urgent forensic investigation by SARS.

To this end, the DA has requested that Kingon confirms whether:

  • A full lifestyle audit of Jacob Zuma, as well as a forensic investigation into his tax affairs, have been or will be undertaken;
  • The State-funded Nkandla fringe benefits have been determined in terms of tax laws and precedents, not on the basis of the R 7.8 million payment made by Zuma;
  • Jacob Zuma has paid any taxes due by him on the Nkandla fringe benefits;
  • SARS will investigate any fringe benefits tax payable or other taxable income inferences on the R1.5 million State-funded cattle handed to Zuma; and
  • All other taxable income alleged to have accrued to Zuma, such as the alleged after-tax salary of R1 million per month paid to him by Royal Security, have been included in his taxable income.

It seems clear that Jacob Zuma would not, without a benefactor such as the Guptas, have the means to pay the fringe benefits tax on the upgrades to his Nkandla palace. It is also highly unlikely that the now discredited VBS Mutual Bank, which lent Zuma the R7.8 million he was ordered to pay back to the State for non-security upgrades, would be able to find the R63 million to pay the fringe benefits tax. That said, there is apparently R 900 million missing from VBS Mutual Bank and a payment to Jacob Zuma may well be found to be a part of these “missing” VBS bank funds.

The DA has repeatedly raised the question of the estimated R63 million fringe benefits tax and interest payable by Zuma on the State sponsored upgrades to his palatial Nkandla residence. The President’s Keepers, the book authored by Jacques Pauw, indicated that the DA calculations of fringe benefits tax on Nkandla of R63 million were confirmed by a SARS team.

The now-suspended SARS commissioner, Tom Moyane, persistently refused to even confirm whether or not SARS had taken the Nkandla upgrades into consideration as possible fringe benefits.

The DA trusts that the SARS Commissioner will agree to our request as a matter of urgency and will be able to provide the public with an update on the status of Jacob Zuma’s chequered tax affairs.

Moyane’s disastrous legacy: SARS fails to meet revised revenue target by R700 million

The South Africa Revenue Service’s (SARS) failure to meet its revised revenue target by more than R700 million confirms the dearth of institutional governance at SARS and low taxpayer morality under Tom Moyane’s disastrous tenure as SARS commissioner.

Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s announcement that SARS had collected R1,216.6 trillion against a revised target of R1,217.3, exposes the ‘crisis of confidence’ that had crept into SARS and its ability to effectively manage revenue collection.

Government now has no other option but to close the gap of the R700 million shortfall through increased borrowings as it is unlikely that there will be additional expenditure savings to counter the revenue shortfall for the year ending 31st of March 2018.

The acting SARS Commissioner, Mark Kingon, must be commended for trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat to achieve the revenue of R1, 217.3 trillion that was predicted in the 2017 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBS).

Minister Nene is faced with the urgent task of restoring sanity at SARS by ensuring that a permanent and effective Commissioner is appointed as a matter of urgency to clean up the mess left by Tom Moyane.

The DA welcomes the suspension of Tom Moyane as Commissioner of SARS

Find attached soundbites in English and Zulu from Alf Lees MP.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to suspend Tom Moyane as SARS Commissioner is long overdue given the destruction of the reputation of SARS whilst under his leadership.
Mr Moyane’s mismanagement of the tax authority led to a severe decline in taxpayer morality and has thus contributed towards the decline in tax revenue collections.
While the DA welcomes the resignation of Jonas Makwakwa, the SARS manager Corporate and Individual tax, and the suspension of Tom Moyane, we believe that more should be done to restore the integrity of SARS.
The DA will push for the full implementation of the recommendations of the Davis Committee as they relate to the appointment of the SARS Commissioner and the creation of a SARS Advisory Board.
The next SARS Commissioner must be an individual with a proven track record in tax administration and financial management. Their immediate task will be to oversee a restoration of taxpayer morality and improvement in tax revenue collections.
Most importantly, the new SARS Commissioner must take urgent steps to investigate the circumstances surrounding the management of SARS, namely:
• the suspicious Makwakwa transactions identified by the FIC
• special treatment given to Gupta companies on the R70 million VAT refund
• the assessment of tax payable by former President Jacob Zuma must be fully and independently investigated
The DA looks forward to a full implementation of a turnaround strategy at SARS, spearheaded by a qualified Commissioner.

Makwakwa is gone, Moyane should follow

Please find attached soundbite by the DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance, Alf Lees MP, in English.
The DA welcomes the resignation of the Chief Officer of Business and Individual Taxes, Jonas Makwakwa, from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) today. This is a step in the right direction.
However, SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, still remains despite doing everything in his power to protect Makwakwa, even to the point of possibly misleading Parliament.
Makwakwa is a deeply compromised individual and SARS will be better without him. The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) found that suspicious amounts of money had ended up in Makwakwa and his girlfriend, Kelly-Ann Elskie’s bank accounts.
The investigation into these suspicious transactions as well as his conduct at SARS must continue and should be extended the role played by Moyane in ensuring Makwakwa retained his position at SARS.