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SARS commissioner denies he is a director of company owned by Ramaphosa

Sars commissioner, Edward Kieswetter.
Sars commissioner, Edward Kieswetter.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter said he is not and has never been a director of any company owned by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Sars issued a statement on Wednesday after noting allegations to this effect.

“It is insinuated that Sars has therefore remained silent about the tax matters of President Ramaphosa. It is further alleged that the commissioner received a call from President Ramaphosa to assist and, according to a source, the commissioner denied the request.

“Commissioner Kieswetter is not and never was a director of any company owned by Mr Ramaphosa,” Sars said in a statement. 

Sars said Kieswetter did not receive a call from Ramaphosa as alleged.

“Moreover, the commissioner does not involve himself in or deal with any taxpayer matters personally.”

Sars said when he became commissioner in May 2019, Kieswetter — in keeping with good governance as well as the relevant policies — resigned all his directorships.

“Mr Kieswetter has fully abided by his public commitment to manage his personal affairs in a manner that creates public confidence and will continue to do so.

“The recent allegations are therefore not only incorrect but also mischievous in trying to link fake news about the commissioner’s alleged directorship to Sars’ obligation to maintain taxpayer confidentiality.”

Sars said the guarantee of confidentiality of taxpayer information is what taxpayers get in return for the compulsion to provide full information to Sars.

It said without the statutory guarantee of confidentiality, the expectation that the taxpayer will be candid and accurate with Sars diminishes.

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