By Kyle Cowan
South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane has denied in a statement that he met any member of the Gupta family during a visit to Dubai in Decemeber 2015.
The Times on Thursday reported that travel records show Moyane was in Dubai at the same time as the Gupta brothers‚ Atul‚ Ajay and Rajesh “Tony”‚ Duduzane Zuma‚ former Eskom CFO Anoj Sing‚ Kim Davids‚ the then executive PA to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne‚ and two sons of Free State premier Ace Magushule were there between 23 December and 8 January 2016.
SARS had earlier said it would not comment on Moyane’s movements but on Friday said: “SARS can confirm that Commissioner Moyane was in Dubai on 23 December 2015‚ in transit to spend Christmas in Portugal. SARS can further confirm that he returned to Dubai on 29 December 2015 and returned to South Africa on the 8th of January 2016‚” the statement reads.
Davids was asked to resign by Brown this week after The Times and others reported how her trip to Dubai had apparently been paid for by the Guptas. She claimed to have paid her own way and had stayed in Dubai after falling ill en route to Portugal.
“Commissioner Moyane categorically states that he has never met any member of the Gupta family in either his private or professional capacity‚” SARS said‚ adding that the attempt to link the Commissioner and/or SARS as an institution with the Gupta family or their associates as “malicious and reckless in the extreme”.
The statement said that SARS invited anyone with “information to the contrary” to provide such to SARS or any organ of state.
SARS is being pressured to explain the payment of a R70-million VAT refund in June this year‚ with reports alleging that Moyane personally intervened to get the payment processed.
SARS has declined to comment on these reports except to say the payment was not irregular.