SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. FILE PHOTO: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Monday that it was "deeply concerned and disturbed" at the ongoing media onslaught, especially against its Commissioner Tom Moyane.

Sars said that the "unrelenting media attack" was threatening to undermine the integrity of the organisation, and was skewed to project a misleading and unsubstantiated tone that is aimed at denting the reputation of the organisation.

This comes as the Daily Maverick’s investigative unit Scorpio last week reported Moyane was wrong in authorising a R70 million value-added tax (VAT) refund to a Gupta-linked company through a third party.

The publication said that the refund was paid to Oakbay Resources against the advice of Sars officials and applicable legislation.

In a statement, Sars said that there was ample proof that Moyane had no role in the payment and had acted within the law. The revenue service also reiterated that it welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement to establish a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of Sars.

"Sars respects media freedom and its role in holding office-bearers and public servants to account. Furthermore, the appreciation extends to the contribution of the media in exposing acts of criminality and corruption. Sars however, humbly requests balanced reporting and fairness," it said.

"It is to that end that Sars believes all this malicious and untruthful allegation will be better ventilated and dispelled at the envisaged inquiry. It is to this end that SARS humbly impresses on the President to find time in his busy schedule to finalise the details of the said inquiry. 

"It is only through such a thorough and transparent process that the true facts regarding SARS will be established and all media manufactured narratives will be exposed."

 - African News Agency