SARS and Treasury go after Bain & Co
Publish date: 08 July 2019
Issue Number: 831
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The SA Revenue Service (SARS) and Treasury are working with the criminal justice system to pursue a civil complaint and criminal charges against Bain & Company, the Boston-based consultancy that contributed to the destruction of SARS during the tenure of axed Commissioner Tom Moyane. A Mail & Guardian report notes that if SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has his way, Bain will turn state witness as the tax agency moves to restore the damage inflicted during the Moyane years. The report notes Bain developed a flawed operating model at SARS for Moyane, which destroyed much of the tax agency’s capacity, sidelined key senior executives and culminated in a R100bn decline in tax revenue. The company has admitted its role in the destruction of SARS and paid back R217m, including interest, for its work, but according to Kieswetter, this is not nearly enough to repay the agency and the country for the severe damage its work has wrought on SARS and its staff. ‘Paying back your fees doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of the billions of rands that wasn’t collected because of the impact of that fake piece of work and the destruction of lives and families because of it, so I expect Bain to come clean. ... I expect them to turn state witness,’ he said, adding the tax agency and the Treasury were working with investigative agencies and the NPA to ensure Bain was held to account. ‘I do think that they have a case to answer, so in addition to paying the money back, I believe that they have a civil case to claim for damages and they have a criminal case to answer for, for what I believe is their complicit participation in the capture of SARS,’ he reportedly told the M&G.