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SARS’s dismissal of former Chief Legal Officer Refiloe Mokoena is fair

SARS’s dismissal of former Chief Legal Officer Refiloe Mokoena is fair

Tshwane, 15 June 2021 – SARS welcomes the decision by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that its dismissal of former Chief Legal Officer Adv Refiloe Mokoena was fair.

In its award of 14 June 2021, the CCMA dismissed Ms Mokoena’s claim that when SARS terminated her employment after she was found guilty of misconduct at a disciplinary hearing that it had acted unfairly.

The CCMA rejected Ms Mokoena’s contention that there was no prima facie case against her. It also drew a negative inference from Ms Mokoena’s decision not to give evidence or call witnesses in support of her case.

SARS dismissed Ms Mokoena in November 2019 upon the conclusion of a five-day disciplinary hearing.  At the conclusion of the hearing, Ms Mokoena was found to have been guilty of misconduct on the following counts:

  • That she actively facilitated VAT refunds to the value of R150-million without having reasonable cause to do so.
  • That Ms Mokoena did not have the requisite tax and/or legal knowledge but despite this she overruled SARS and external experts on tax law and applied a repealed section of the VAT Act to justify her instruction that the Oakbay refunds be paid into a third party account.
  • That she caused taxpayer information to be shared thus breaching provisions of tax legislation that requires taxpayer information to be kept confidential.

SARS concurred with the findings of the disciplinary hearing that the charges against Ms Mokoena were so serious, she had acted so dishonourably and had exhibited qualities that made her unsuitable to serve as SARS’s Chief Legal Officer.

This award by the CCMA will help SARS finally draw a line under this matter and focus all its energies on moving the organisation forward.

 

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