DA says it will continue to probe ‘mystery cash payments’ to Makwakwa

The Democratic Alliance says it will continue to probe “mystery cash payments” to the South African Revenue Service Services’ second-in-command Jonas Makwakwa.

The Sunday Times reported that Makwakwa‚ the chief officer: business and individual taxes at SARS‚ had been flagged for “suspicious and unusual” cash payments into his bank account‚ with a report recommending an investigation to determine if the payments were “proceeds of crime arising from corrupt activities” or “acts of money laundering”.

The report‚ compiled by a banking regulator‚ had been handed over to SARS commissioner Tom Moyane‚ it said.

According to the Sunday Times‚ the report alleges that Makwakwa received unexplained cash deposits and bank transfers into his FNB account totalling R1.2-million between 2010 and January this year.

DA finance spokesman David Maynier said however that the allegations were not new and had been raised with Moyane during a Standing Committee on Finance meeting on August 23. When questioned about the investigation‚ Moyane was evasive and simply stated that he would not “comment on current ongoing investigations”‚ Maynier said. “Surprisingly‚ all follow-up questions were referred to senior revenue service officials who were equally evasive and repeated the line that there would be ‘no comment on current investigations into individuals or companies’.” The burning questions in this case‚ according to Maynier‚ were: whether Moyane acted on the recommendations of the preliminary report and requested an investigation into the allegations surrounding “suspicious and unusual payments”; and‚ if an investigation was being conducted‚ why Jonas Makwakwa had not been suspended‚ pending the outcome of the investigation‚ from SARS? “I will‚ therefore‚ submit a parliamentary question to the Minister of Finance‚ Pravin Gordhan‚ probing: whether the preliminary report on the ‘suspicious and unusual payments’ was received; whether the investigation‚ recommended in the preliminary report‚ is being conducted; and why if an investigation is being conducted‚ why Jonas Makwakwa has not been suspended‚ pending the outcome of the investigation‚ from SARS‚” Maynier added.