Mark Kingon has been appointed the acting commissioner for the SA Revenue Service‚ the Treasury announced on Tuesday morning.
This follows the suspension with immediate effect by President Cyril Ramaphosa of current commissioner Tom Moyane on Monday night.
Kingon stepped into the role of second-in-charge in an acting capacity at SARS last week when chief officer for business and individual taxes Jonas Makwakwa resigned.
The Treasury said in a statement on Tuesday morning that Kingon had been with SARS since its establishment and worked his way through the ranks to become the group executive for relationship management within business and individual taxes.
Ramaphosa cited among his reasons for suspending Moyane the deterioration in public confidence in SARS and public finances being compromised as a result of the ongoing controversy at the tax agency under Moyane’s leadership.
Ramaphosa said it was in the public interest to restore the credibility of SARS without delay.
In a letter to Moyane‚ Ramaphosa said: “For the sake of the country and the economy‚ this situation cannot be allowed to continue‚ or to worsen.”
Ramaphosa said Moyane held a high position “of trust in managing the country’s finances”.
“It was therefore necessary to act urgently and immediately to protect the institution and place it on a path to stability and recovery‚” the presidency said in a statement.
Ramaphosa suspended Moyane after a meeting with him in which he informed him that he had “lost confidence in his ability to lead SARS”.
Ramaphosa said he had offered Moyane an opportunity to resign with immediate effect‚ which Moyane declined.
In the statement‚ the presidency said concern was raised about the way Moyane handled the issue of Makwakwa‚ and Moyane’s failure to immediately report this to the finance minister. Another issue of concern was the management of tax refunds — a tax ombudsman finding. This potentially jeopardised SARS as a collector of revenue and affected tax morality‚ the presidency said.