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EFF questions SARS commissioner “secret” interview process

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has questioned the “secret” interview process for a new South African Revenue Service (SARS) boss, calling it corrupt.

A couple of weeks ago, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reappointed Mark Kingon as the acting head of SARS until 11 June 2019 or until President Cyril Ramaphosa appoints a permanent commissioner.

The EFF has spoken out about the secret selection process of a new SARS boss, and says it has written to parliament with questions directed to Ramaphosa and Mboweni in February 2019. In the letter, the EFF specifically questioned why the duo was holding the SARS commission selection process “in secret”.

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In a statement published on Wednesday, 27 March 2019, the EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called for President Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Mboweni to reveal the interview process they followed, calling it nepotistic and corrupt.

“It has now emerged that the reason [for the secrecy] is that one of the candidates who was interviewed, and favoured by the panel, is a dodgy character called Edward Kieswetter, who is not just a relative of Trevor Manuel, but a close business associate and companion,” Ndlozi said.

Ndlozi also revealed that Kieswetter had previously been unlawfully appointed by Manuel as deputy SARS commissioner during Manuel’s finance minister tenure in the early 2000s.

“The EFF is profusely opposed to the imposition of a secretly assessed candidate by conflicted individuals, and we will do everything in our power to stop and reverse the appointment of Kieswetter as SARS commissioner.

“The EFF is particularly concerned about SARS because our election manifesto states that part of our immediate plans when we take over government will be capacitation of SARS so that it can maximally collect revenue,” he said.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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