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SARS suspends IT boss

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SARS IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane has been placed on precautionary suspension.
SARS IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane has been placed on precautionary suspension.

Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, chief officer of the digital information services and technology unit at the South African Revenue Service (SARS), has officially been placed on precautionary suspension.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane made headlines last year when she was unable to explain SARS’ state of IT infrastructure, or provide a clear assessment of the way forward during an interview on SABC's TV breakfast show, Morning Live.

Days after, she issued an apology, saying her “conduct during the TV interview and at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry was regrettable”.

In April, it was revealed the embattled SARS IT head was still on “discretionary leave” following the interview, with no indication of when she would return to her post.

A source told ITWeb that SARS had offered her a four-month settlement to resign from her post.

In a statement this afternoon, the revenue service says Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s suspension is “pending the finalisation of a disciplinary process in respect of serious allegations of misconduct”.

According to SARS, the suspension of Makhekhe-Mokhuane brings the number of executives currently on precautionary suspension to five.

It states: “This is part of an ongoing comprehensive review of the whole SARS leadership by the commissioner 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. 

“Ms Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s precautionary suspension takes effect immediately. It must be re-iterated, 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 finalisation of the process. SARS 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’s concluded.”

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