Corruption Watch, responding to the news of the resignation of Jonas Makwakwa, chief officer for business and individual tax at the South African Revenue Service (Sars), confirms its intention to continue its efforts to ensure that both Makwakwa and Sars commissioner Tom Moyane are prosecuted.
The organisation laid criminal charges against Moyane, Makwakwa and Kelly-Ann Elskie in December 2016, in relation to the alleged fraud and corruption charges against Makwakwa and Elskie, and Moyane’s handling of the matter. The charges highlighted apparent breaches of Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA), as well as sections of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).
Makwakwa’s subsequent reinstatement in October 2017, following the investigation by international law firm Hogan Lovells, and a later disciplinary hearing that found him not guilty, do not alter the premise of these charges.
Initially Corruption Watch wanted the reinstatement of Makwakwa to be set aside because Moyane had based his reinstatement decision on the Hogan Lovells report. The scope of the Hogan Lovells investigation did not include the activities that prompted Makwakwa’s suspension, or certainly, they did not investigate them.
In essence, this means that Makwakwa was reinstated for reasons unrelated to the basis for his suspension; therefore, Moyane’s decision to reinstate him was unlawful and Corruption Watch has sought to have it set aside.
Makwakwa’s resignation means that this now falls away in terms of litigation. However, given Moyane’s violations of PRECCA and FICA, and Makwakwa and Elskie in respect of the FICA offences, and confirmation from the Hawks that the NPA is not proceeding with the prosecution of Moyane, Corruption Watch has written to the NPA asking for reasons for their decision and for a certificate nolle prosequi to be issued. This certificate will enable the organisation to mount a private criminal prosecution for the FICA and PRECCA violations of Moyane, Makwakwa and Elskie.
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