Makwakwa set to make a comeback, SARS insiders allege

Johannesburg – South African Revenue Service second-in-command Jonas Makwakwa, who has been suspended for more than a year, was expected to return to work this week, SARS insiders have alleged.

The SARS insiders told News24 that Makwakwa was set to make a comeback on Monday after his girlfriend, Kelly-Ann Elskie, returned to the SARS office for duty last week.

Makwakwa and Elskie were suspended in September last year after the media revealed that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) had flagged the pair for several suspicious payments made into their personal bank accounts.

Makwakwa, a chartered accountant, was the Chief Officer for Business and Individual Tax at the time of his suspension.

He was caught on camera, allegedly making cash deposits into his and Elskie’s private bank accounts.

According to an FIC report, he made unusual and suspicious deposits totalling R1.2m into a number of bank accounts between 2010 and 2016. The payments and deposits were of concern as they had originated from unknown sources.

SARS commissioner Tom Moyane received the report and, instead of handing it to police to investigate, allegedly showed it to Makwakwa and Elskie.

As a result, Corruption Watch laid charges against Moyane, Makwakwa and Elskie for breaching the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

However, after months went by with no response, Corruption Watch wrote to the Hawks to ask about the progress of the case. No response was received.

They took the matter to Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in March.

In a letter, they indicated that the Hawks had told them that they were handling an “inquiry” on the FIC report against Makwakwa and Elskie.

“We understand that an ‘inquiry’ is being made into the allegations of corruption against Makwakwa and Elskie, despite the FIC having compiled all the evidence relating to the corrupt activities in its May 2016 report.

“In regard to our criminal complaint against Moyane, we are uncertain about what steps are being taken, if any, to investigate our complaint,” Corruption Watch wrote in the complaint to IPID.

Corruption Watch spokesperson, Patience Mkosana, told News24 that they had also received reports from a variety of whistleblowers that Makwakwa and Elskie were returning to SARS.

“We are currently looking into the matter,” Mkosana said.

In Parliament earlier this year, SARS said it was waiting for the finalisation of an investigation into the matter and was unable to report anything further.

In the interim, Makwakwa was on full pay with benefits. When he testified at former SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay’s hearing at the CCMA, he was accompanied by a bodyguard.

SARS told the Daily Maverick last month that Makwakwa was still suspended, that there was a hearing underway and that an outcome was expected in early October.

But since then, there has been no update from them.

Insiders said Elskie was at work on Friday and that they had heard that Makwakwa was expected back on Monday.

Makwakwa and Elskie refused to answer News24’s questions on their return to work and SARS has not yet responded to media queries. DM


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