Interviews start for new head of Sars

Nombembe, Kieswetter, Ravele among candidates

SARS offices. File photo.
SARS offices. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

Interviews for the role of SA Revenue Service commissioner are set to take place on Saturday, with current and former officials making the cut from the many applications received.

Business Day understands that those to be interviewed include acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon, current executive committee members Hlengani Mathebula and Randall Carolissen, former head of enforcement Gene Ravele and former Sars executives Nathaniel Mabetwa and Edward Kieswetter, the latter of whom was the CEO of Alexander Forbes.

The list also includes former auditor-general Terence Nombembe.

Kingon, Mathebula and Carolissen all served on the executive committee of controversial axed Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, who is still fighting a court battle to get his job back.

Ravele was among those purged by Moyane in the early period of his ruinous four-year tenure at Sars.

Mathebula had told the Sars commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent, that he was forced by Moyane to sign off on investigations into Sars officials who were overseeing critical investigations in the illicit tobacco industry.

He said Moyane gave him a “hit list” of Sars staff he wanted suspended and replaced.

Nugent, in his final report, was critical of Mathebula’s conduct during his time as head of enforcement.

Officials were tight-lipped about the identity of the candidates to be interviewed.

The Treasury announced on Wednesday that former finance minister Trevor Manuel would chair the seven-member interview panel for the post.

The panel will then compile a shortlist of candidates that will be submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who will choose the commissioner to head up the key institution.

The panel includes judge Dennis Davis, Treasury tax chief Ismail Momoniat, Peotona founder advocate Thandi Orleyn, human resources expert Fezekile Tshiqi, African Women Chartered Accountants Investment Holding Company chair Sindi MabasoKoyana and businesswoman Angela Bester.

Ramaphosa announced in his state of the nation address on Thursday night that the Nugent inquiry recommendations would be implemented.

Nugent had recommended that a Sars inspector-general, with an investigating capacity, as well as a deputy commissioner be appointed to create further layers of oversight in the 14,000-strong institution.

Nugent recommended the candidate for the post be apolitical, of “unblemished integrity” and able to manage a large organisation. - BusinessLIVE