Sars has dismissed its chief officer and legal counsel Refiloe Mokoena for serious misconduct following a disciplinary hearing which investigated her conduct. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba/African News Agency

Johannesburg - Sars has dismissed its chief officer and legal counsel Refiloe Mokoena for serious misconduct following a disciplinary hearing which investigated her conduct.

Sars said in a statement on Friday that it had accepted the recommendations of the chairperson of the hearing and Mokoena’s dismissal which is effective from November 15. 

“In accordance with this and following a disciplinary hearing chaired by a Senior Counsel from the Johannesburg Bar, Ms Refiloe Mokoena, the Chief Officer: Legal Counsel, has been found to have committed serious acts of misconduct. SARS has accepted the chairperson’s recommendation of immediate dismissal and her services have been terminated with effect from today, 15 November 2019.

Mokoena had been charged with her handling of the R420 million VAT refund paid out to the Gupta family.

She had been accused of furthering the interests of the Gupta family. She had legally challenged her disciplinary hearing but later dropped the bid. 

Her dismissal follows the settlements Sars paid out to former employees who were placed on suspension.

News24 reported that former IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane and group executive of employee relations Luther Lebelo were paid out R1.6 million and R1.25 million respectively. 

The settlements were equal to six months salaries and were part of an agreement with the revenue service, the site reported.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Lebelo were placed on suspension in July this year along with other executives including Hlengani Mathebula (chief officer for governance, internal relations, strategy and communications) and Teboho Mokoena (chief officer for human capital and development). 

Their services were terminated earlier this month and, in a statement released at the time, Sars said it would not proceed with further actions against Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Lebelo in pursuance of allegations against them respectively and wished them well in their future endeavours.

When Sars undertook the suspensions it said that they were part of its strategy to review its leadership in response to the findings released by the Nugent commission.

The commission was headed by retired Judge Robert Nugent and was aimed at investigating governance matters at Sars. 

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