DA tables SARS Sikhakhane report in Parliament’s Finance Committee
21 April 2015
In today’s Standing Committee on Finance, the DA tabled the controversial Sikhakhane report into the so-called “rogue unit” at SARS, as well as a letter by former SARS spokesperson, Adrian Lackay, addressed to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim.
Both these documents contain information which contradicts what SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, told Parliament when he appeared in Committee last month. It is vital that the discrepancies between the sources be considered.
In the Committee’s last sitting Moyane revealed that the Sikhakhane report will not be released as it is “preliminary and inconclusive”, and will be prejudicial to the ongoing investigations. This is despite the fact that the report is the basis on which senior officials have either been suspended, left the Revenue Service, or have been redeployed to other divisions.
I therefore committed to tabling the report at the Committee’s next sitting, as without Parliament fully engaging and interrogating the report, many crucial questions will remain unanswered, including:
How the report was used as the basis for the litany of suspensions and dismissals if it is “preliminary and inconclusive”;
If the report was indeed the only basis on which senior officials were suspended, what sections of the report were used, and why; and
If the report was not the only basis on which senior officials were suspended, what other factors were taken into account?
Unfortunately, the substance of the documents was not considered as Chairperson Carrim prevented the documents from being circulated, and along with fellow ANC members, avoided addressing the subject matter of either document.
Moreover, it is deeply concerning that former SARS spokesperson, Adrian Lackay’s letter addressed to Chairperson Carrim states that he has reason to believe that before Tom Moyane addresses the Committee it is “in the interests of justice and ultimately in the public interest that a true version of such events are also placed before the SCOF and the JSCI and its members…[a]nd should be apprised of what I believe is at the heart of the ongoing matters at SARS”.
This letter was never mentioned or tabled in Committee.
I will today write to Mr Carrim, requesting that he furnish in writing the reasons as to why this letter was not brought to the Committee’s attention and tabled before Moyane’s appearance on 25 March 2015.
While the ANC is hell-bent on playing covering-up, the DA is committed to ensuring that all state institutions are completely independent and free from undue political interference.
In order to do so, the truth about the dubious suspensions and redeployments at SARS must be made public.
Statement issued by Dr Dion George MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, April 21 2015