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Sars gives Pillay deadline to appeal suspension

Sars has granted an extension until 16 January 2015.

Deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay has until Friday to give the SA Revenue Service reasons not to suspend him.

“At Mr Pillay’s request, Sars has granted him an extension until 16 January 2015 to supply us with his formal response to his suspension notice,” Sars said in a statement on Wednesday.

The initial deadline was Monday.

Sars said all employees should face the disciplinary processes as required.

Sars took exception to insinuations about a “clean-out” of certain officials, it said. The suggestions were simply untrue and irresponsible.

On December 5, Pillay and Sars’s strategic planning and risk group executive, Peter Richer, were suspended amid allegations of a special projects unit engaging in illegal activities in Sars.

Sars said on January 6 that Richer was officially suspended.

“Sars has considered Mr Richer’s representations and remains of the view that the situation merits a suspension,” Sars said at the time.

Both men challenged their suspension before the labour court. On December 17, Richer and Sars reached an out-of-court agreement that his suspension be lifted to give him time to make representations as to why he should not be suspended.

Pillay went ahead with his labour court bid to be reinstated. The court found Sars breached its contract with him when it suspended him without written notice.

“Clearly… Sars acted in breach of the contract when it issued the suspension notice without complying with… the suspension policy,” Judge Annelie Basson ruled on December 18.

“I am also persuaded that the applicant was not afforded an opportunity to make representations.”

She ordered Pillay’s suspension be lifted and he returned to work on December 18. The Sunday Times reported that Sars handed Pillay a new suspension notice the same day. It gave Pillay until January 12 to explain why he should not be suspended again.

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