SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula resigns with immediate effect
Oupa Magashula has quit his job as SARS commissioner. According to a statement released by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the investigation into Magashula's conduct was instituted after accusations surfaced in March this year that he offered a Chartered Accountant (CA) a job at SARS.
According to the Finance Minister's Statement, a high level probe headed by retired Constitutional Court judge, Justice Zak Yacoob, and Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane has found that Magashula's conduct placed the reputation and credibility of SARS at risk.
The deal to give the CA a top job at SARS was caught on tape. According to the statement, it was facilitated by a man known as Mr Timothy Marimuthu whom media reports alleged had influence over Magashula.
In his statement Gordhan's says 'Magashula was given a copy of the report on Tuesday, this week. And by the following day, he admitted that his actions constituted failure to promote and maintain a high standard of professionalism and ethical behaviour that is expected of the Commissioner of SARS'
The key findings highlighted in the Gordhan's statement are that Magashula:
#1: Caused the Minister to make an incorrect statement to the public with regards to the CA's CV not having been sent to SARS. An interview had been arranged, but the CA cancelled because she preferred a job based in Durban, which did not meet SARS' requirements.
#2: Interacted with MrMarimuthu more times than he had initially admitted to the Minister and the committee.
#3: Told the Minister and the committee (during his first appearance before it) that he had had no further communication with the CA. It later transpired that she had sent five emails to the Commissioner's private SARS email address.
While, the investigation found no evidence that Magashula committed a crime, Gordhan said he instituted the investigation to 'protect the integrity of this vital fiscal institution'.
The swift probe against Magashule highlights SARS' commitment to deal even with its own in an effort to root out corruption. So don't even think about evading tax, or not submitting your individual tax return by November, SARS has its eye on you!