SARS IT boss Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane is suspended‚ pending DC

SARS IT chief Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane.
SARS IT chief Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Wednesday it had placed IT executive Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane on precautionary suspension pending the finalization of a disciplinary process.

The disciplinary process relates to "serious allegations of misconduct‚" the tax entity said‚ without elaboration.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane was placed on "indefinite leave" in April.

The Chief Officer: Digital; Information and Technology Services at the SARS was in the social media spotlight over her utterances on television last October and at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry where she took flak for the vagueness of her answers.

She told the presenter of the SABC’s Morning Live during an interview: “Mam‚ can you give me protection from yourself.”

She had been talking about outsourcing and bursary systems at Sars when presenter Sakina Kamwendo said‚ "but we're talking about IT restructuring". She made the statement in response.

SARS said in a statement that Ms. Makhekhe-Mokhuane was the fifth of its executives currently on precautionary suspension.

The other executives are:

Mr Hlengani Mathebula‚ Chief Officer: Governance‚ International Relations‚ Strategy and Communications Mr Teboho Mokoena‚ Chief Officer: Human Capital & Development Mr Luther Lebelo‚ Group Executive: Employee Relations Ms. Refiloe Mokoena‚ Chief Officer: Legal Counsel "This is part of an ongoing comprehensive review of the whole SARS leadership by the Commissioner (Edward Kieswetter) in terms of good governance and‚ further‚ in response to the report on the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS‚ the 'Nugent Report'‚” said the SARS statement.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s precautionary suspension takes effect immediately.

SARS noted: "It must be reiterated‚ that these suspensions are precautionary in nature and as such do not amount to findings of any wrongdoing on the part of the executives concerned. A determination in this regard will only be made on the finalization of the process."

The SARS statement said the entity "requests that the privacy of the individuals concerned and the confidentiality of the employer–employee relationship be respected."

"SARS will not comment further on the matter until it is concluded."