The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has revealed that it paid out almost R20 million in settlements to its former top officials, including Ivan Pillay , Peter Richer ,Gene Ravele ,and Johann van Loggerenberg. The officials are liable to face possible charges over the rogue SARS unit.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a written reply to Parliament on Monday, said 13 officials had left SARS over the past few years.The minister not give the names of the officials due to confidentiality concerns.
SARS paid out R9m in settlement agreements with its top officials in the 2015/16 financial year . The amount involved is for three senior officials.
“Due to confidentiality provisions of these agreements, as well as protection of personal information governed by the Protection of Personal Information Act, SARS is prohibited from disclosing employee- specific information regarding the agreements with regard to the names of the individuals concerned, the positions held, the date of separation, reasons for the settlement and the individual amounts involved,” said SARS.
In the 2014/15 financial year, SARS paid out R1.6m to two top officials at the agency.
SARS settled for an amount of R3m with three officials In 2010/11, and paid out one senior official R3.1m in 2007/2008.
The agency also told Parliament it settled for R1.6m with two officials during the 2008/9 financial year.
Minister Gordhan was the head of SARS for 10 years before he left in 2009 to join the cabinet. He has refused to hand himself over to the Hawks, saying he has not done anything wrong.
Civil society and business have backed the officials and Gordhan, saying this was a war against the minister of finance in order to capture the National Treasury.