The Nugent Commission of inquiry which is probing tax administration and governance issues at Sars. File Photo: Brenda Masilela/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – The Nugent Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday, heard that consultancy firm Gartner – which was awarded a R200m contract to design an information technology (IT) structure for the SA Revenue Service (Sars) – illegally gifted a huge chunk of the tender to the company of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane’s long time friend, Patrick Monyeki.

It is believed that Monyeki, who is not as employee at Sars, managed to obtain 30 percent to 40 percent of the Gartner contract.

Moyane signed off on a contract worth more than R200 million to the global advisory firm Gartner in July 2015. The consultancy firm was meant to revive and restructure the IT modernisation model.

Gartner representative Neville Willemse was in the hot seat on Tuesday before the commission, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent.

Willemse told the commission that Monyeki approached him in December 2014, to discuss requirements at Sars. 

"He said there was a new commissioner who was worried about the IT strategy and its alignment with business strategy," he said.

Willemse explained that he asked Monyeki for input on the notes he had taken in order to come up with terms of reference for Sars.

Nugent asked Willemse if during that time he had any interaction with Sars.

Willemse replied, saying: "No."

Nugent retorted saying: "So you and Monyeki were discussing Sars without Sars?"

Willemse confirmed that he and Monyeki drafted the terms of reference for the contract. 

Evidence leader Carol Steinberg asked Willemse whether he was aware that it was illegal for Gartner to write up the specifications for the Sars contract.

He said he did not know it was illegal and that he was not a procurement specialist.

Willemse explained that they were working with Sars' procurement legal people which they felt were best to confirm they were going through the proper process.

When asked whether Gartner inquired if the process was proper or not, he struggled to answer.

Willemse said that he did not know what Monyeki’s role at Sars was. 

Prompting Professor Michael Katz to ask: "But you pumping so many resources into this project surely you want to know who this person is that’s getting involved in the project?"

Willemse responded: "I didn’t find the need to do so."

African News Agency (ANA)