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Nugent Commission: Gartner Consultants to testify

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Acting head of business and individual tax Fabian Murray also took to the stand and apologised to current staff and called for apolitical leadership.

On Monday, 22 October 2018 the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS) human resources’ executive told the Nugent inquiry that a law firm acted out of its mandate and was not asked to build a case to prove that the rogue unit existed.

The inquiry, led by retired Judge Robert Nugent, probing tax administration and governance issues at the Revenue Service.

Consultants from Gartner, the Company which conducted multi-phased IT work to the tune of R200m, are expected to give evidence on Tuesday, 23 October 2018.

The inquiry also heard of how SARS paid R120,000 to a law firm, for it to read a book on suspended commissioner Tom Moyane and to ascertain whether its contents were defamatory.

“The cost for reading the book was approximately R120,000 before VAT”, confirmed Evidence leader Advocate Carol Steinberg.

“R120,000? How long is this book? Is it War and Peace? Do you know about this book?”, Nugent asked rhetorically.

Acting head of business and individual tax Fabian Murray also took to the stand and apologised to current staff and called for apolitical leadership.

“Leadership must ask difficult questions, so that there is absolute alignment, and challenge the status quo. Not merely going with the flow to appease your boss or your colleagues. Now, more than ever, Sars needs strong leadership”, Murray said.

Murray further added that: “The reality is that during the past four years a huge amount of funds that was allocated to modernise our systems we were not able to use, and therefore it was returned to National Treasury. So a part of the current shortfall in funding is a direct result of our inability to spend the allocated funds.”

Tom Moyane, who is a Commissioner at SARS, was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year, accusing him of bring the revenue service into disrepute. He was hired by then President Jacob Zuma in 2014.

Thabo Baloyi
[email protected]

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