Johannesburg – South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane on Friday disputed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's assertion that there was a tax collection shortfall of over R30 billion which had contributed to the budget deficit.
Instead, Monyane accused his boss, Gordhan, of interfering in the running of Sars, to the point of even granting leave to subordinates.
He also said he was hurt when the minister refused to shake his hand and he felt that he was being treated like a child. Addressing a hastily convened press conference in Pretoria on Friday, Monyane also responded to claims that there was an exodus of Sars staff under his watch.
He said 95 percent of the people he found when he was appointed commissioner were still there and there was no lack of capacity at the revenue collection service. Moyane made his remarks during a special post-Budget Speech media briefing session on revenue collection at Brooklyn Bridge, Linton House, in Pretoria.
He admitted there were "issues" between himself and Gordhan and said he had approached President Jacob Zuma to appoint a person to adjudicate the issues between himself and Gordhan.
Asked if he was the one who had asked the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to investigate the so-called rogue unit at Sars, Monyane denied it outright, saying nowhere in the police complaint did he mention the minister's name. "I did not open a case against Minister Gordhan ... that is a complete lie," said Monyane.
He also denied that correspondence between himself and Gordhan was leaked to the media by Sars. Sars defended the reported R30.4 billion tax collection shortfall, saying there may have been a misreading of the situation because of refunds worth billions of rand that it had made.