Former SARS Customs officer sentenced to an effective six years for corruption

PRETORIA, 14 JANUARY 2020: A former SARS Customs officer was this week sentenced to an effective six years in prison on two counts of corruption by the Musina Magistrate’s court. He was also found unfit to possess a firearm.
 
Isaiah Makamola was arrested by the Hawks on 26 May 2016 at Beitbridge border post for illegally selling SADC certificates on two separate occasions. He was part of a sting operation by the Hawks at the time, which also saw the arrests of officials from the Department of Home Affairs, a former Musina councillor and a local prosecutor, who were all allegedly assisting criminal gangs and taking bribes.
 
Makamola was dismissed from SARS after undergoing a disciplinary hearing shortly after his arrest.
 
SARS’ zero tolerance stand against internal fraud and corruption has seen close to 300 sanctions brought against SARS employees since April 2017. These include Customs fraud and corruption cases (e.g. ghost exports) and cases of unauthorised interference in tax matters (e.g. unauthorised debt reductions/ write-offs, VAT fraud, Personal Income Tax fraud). Of those, more than 220 were dismissed and/or resigned during the disciplinary process.
 
SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has been very outspoken about corruption – both internally and externally. For more, click here for a statement issued in December 2020: Arrest of SARS officials for alleged corruption.

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