Sars needs visionary leadership after being broken by scandal - Kingon

Mark Kingon reappointed as acting commissioner of the SA Revenue Service.
Mark Kingon reappointed as acting commissioner of the SA Revenue Service.

The commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South African Revenue Service heard on Friday that the institution’s leadership has been left “broken and unstable”.

In his opening statements to the inquiry‚ acting commissioner Mark Kingon said the executive leadership at the revenue collector had been “wrecked by division and mistrust”.

He said Sars was facing various challenges‚ among them: its IT infrastructure “deteriorated out of neglect over four-and-a-half years”; low employee morale; and leaks of information from within the organisation.

“We were previously in the media for the right reasons. But to be in the media for non-issues‚ for non-core issues‚ that was the huge challenge. If ever Sars had to contend with weak leadership‚ blemished integrity… I don’t think we’ve ever experienced a moment like we are in today. Having our credibility and our effectiveness under question in the public domain is severely damaging‚” he said.

“The situation continues to be uncertain‚ tumultuous… Our executive leadership is broken and unstable and wrecked by division and mistrust. We need visionary leadership at this time.”

Kingon‚ who was appointed in March this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ became emotional during his testimony. He apologised to taxpayers‚ Sars stakeholders and government for “falling short of the high standards of performance we have always set for ourselves”.

His testimony is continuing.

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