Jonas Makwakwa, the chief officer for business and individual tax at the South African Revenue Service (Sars), resigned on Wednesday.
Mark Kingon, currently group executive for relationship management within the same division, has been appointed as the acting Chief Officer. Kingon has been with Sars for close to 34 years and has risen through the ranks of the organisation, having worked in enforcement and in the legal department of SARS, among others.
Makwakwa’s resignation due to “personal reasons” was announced by Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane during a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon. Moyane said Makwakwa, the second in charge at Sars, “resigned this morning”.
Makwakwa resigned under a cloud of controversy after he was reinstated by Moyane in 2017 despite him facing a tax-evasion investigation and allegations of suspicious deposits into his personal account.
The serious allegations were contained in a Financial Intelligence Centre report submitted to Sars, which then sought a legal opinion from Hogan Lovells on the matter.
However, Makwakwa was cleared of all charges by Sars after facing an internal disciplinary process. He returned to the tax authority in November 2017.
“He [Makwakwa] regards this as being an opportune moment for him to exit Sars after being cleared of all the allegations of misconduct through a formal disciplinary hearing, and after making the investigation report into allegations of impropriety against him and his personal tax information available to Parliament for scrutiny and for public accountability,” said Moyane.
Meanwhile the tax authority has noted that it “has full confidence in the abilities of Mr Kingon to manage this new additional role as we continue with our absolutely important mandate of collecting all revenue due to the fiscus to fuel our country’s growth and development.”