South Africa Spotlight on the Revenue Services

South Africa

Does the South African Revenue Services (SARS) have a secret unit that enables the use of undesirable power to discredit honest, hardworking, reliable people? In South Africa it would appear that SARS is following the same surreptitious and dishonest ways as most government institutions employ.

State resources are used to find ignominy on people or a company that can or may be a threat to the government. No matter how trivial a threat is, SARS will discredit anybody in a direct attempt to remain the powerful controlling state entity. Using state resources are not the only option, it is the leaking of information to the press, to misinform the public that can plot the downfall of either individuals or companies.

South African taxpayers are often habituated to reports of deceitful, dubious dealings and corruption within government departments. South Africans are swayed to believe the worst of politicians, including senior and middle management government employees. The continual suspension of workers and redeployment of allies into top positions gives rise to deception. South Africans have limited access to the continuous denials that often confirm the truth of suchlike accusations.

Tom Moyane was appointed to the Commission for SARS by President Jacob Zuma in September 2014. Moyane, formally  served as the National Commissioner of Correctional Services and worked as Chief Executive Officer of Government Printing Works.

Tom Moyane appears to be running SARS autonomously. This is an unusual and unacceptable practice for someone without experience. South Africa should rely on the current leadership, and not Moyane.

Allegations that Moyane lied about a report can only be surmised that there was not enough evidence from certain people who were uncovering the truth about a possible tax evasion scheme by Zuma. Tax on Nkandla and customs duty on African National Congress (ANC) t-shirts are listed as a fraction of the tax evasion investigation. Should Zuma not pay the monies, there will be the liability of tax on benefits and SARS will implement penalties and interest on outstanding amounts owed and this can amount to a hefty amount of money.

The question of whether the suspension of Ivan Pillay and Peter Richer by SARS is a move to protect Zuma could be a possibility. Both Pillay and Richer are upfront and known as honest officials, and possibly have the power to sink Zuma.

Should Zuma succeed in capturing SARS, the revenue service will be in the hands of a notorious leader. The power behind controlling SARS will be a formidable weapon against all opponents within the ANC party and none connected to the party, including businesses and people who are perceived as a threat to the ruling party.

The incident when Julius Malema the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was targeted by SARS for unpaid taxes could have horrified Zuma that Malema was not ruined in the process.

Zuma is protected by the state, the connections of top politicians and the stream of taxpayer’s money funding top attorneys to ensure nothing can happen. It will be the beginning of a severe problem for Zuma when the presidency term ends and opposition pursue to charge Zuma. SARS  would immediately take action against the president, if the department were not run by corrupt and incompetent infiltrators.

While there is the attention, that Zuma is targeted by SARS, it is the small businesses who continue to be under the siege of SARS  with the intention to shut down or destroy legitimate operations. South Africa corruption within government departments is destroying the democracy of the country and spilling over to SARS can only create chaos.

Opinion by Laura Oneale

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Photo – Wikimedia –(WT-Shared) NJR ZA – Creative Commons Licence

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