South African Tax Chief Quits Following Investigation

Oupa Magashula, the head of the South African Revenue Service, quit after a panel found that he sought to stymie its investigations into whether he breached hiring procedures.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on March 24 appointed the two-member panel to probe Magashula’s conduct after Johannesburg-based City Press reported he had offered a job to an associate of a convicted drug dealer. The report was based on a taped phone conversation.

Magashula had failed to co-operate adequately with the investigators and provided false testimony, Gordhan said. His conduct “placed the reputation and credibility of SARS at risk,” the minister said. The panel though had found no evidence that Magashula committed a crime, Gordhan said.

Ivan Pillay, the deputy commissioner of SARS, was appointed to replace Magashula in an acting capacity.

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