March 19, 2018 / 9:14 PM / a month ago

South Africa's Ramaphosa suspends revenue service head Moyane

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa suspended the head of its revenue service (SARS), Tom Moyane, on Monday with immediate effect pending disciplinary action, the presidency said.

“Developments at the SARS under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by his office.

“For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen.”

Moyane refused to resign during a meeting earlier on Monday, when Ramaphosa said he had lost confidence in Moyane’s ability to lead the agency, the statement said.

SARS spokesman Sandile Memela confirmed Moyane has been suspended, adding the agency had no further comment or details.

In last month’s budget the Treasury said it faced a 48.2 billion rand ($4 billion) revenue gap in the current 2017/18 fiscal year, partially due to SARS missing its revenue collection target.

The agency has been plagued by infighting over the last the three years and is subject to ongoing government investigations.

Moyane is the latest top government official to face replacement since Ramaphosa succeeded Jacob Zuma as president.

In February, weeks after his election as head of state, Ramaphosa reshuffled the cabinet, firing or demoting several ministers viewed as Zuma allies.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; editing by John Stonestreet

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