NEWS & ANALYSIS

Unlawful suspension of employee exposes SARS irregularities – Solidarity

Union says there were indications from outset of hidden motives in axing of Yousuf Denath

Unlawful suspension of employee exposes SARS irregularities – Solidarity 

31 July 2018

Trade union Solidarity announced today that it would give its full cooperation in the investigation to be launched by Justice Robert Nugenttomorrow regarding irregularities in SARS.

This investigation follows after Yousuf Denath, senior manager of the anti-corruption section at SARS and member of Solidarity, was suspended in April 2017 on allegations of serious violations. According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Labour Law Section, these allegations stem from accusations made by Yusuf Kajee regarding events that took place from 2011 to 2013. During the internal disciplinary hearing, Adv. James Matshekga decided in Solidarity’s favour after finding that the allegations by SARS against Denath held no water and had resulted in an unreasonable, excessively expensive and unnecessary procedure. “Denath’s suspension was revoked on 26 June, and he has returned to SARS to resume is daily duties,” Van der Bijl said.  

Van der Bijl claimed that there were indications of hidden motives from the outset, which probably served as reasons for Denath’s suspension. During the investigation, it became apparent that Yegan Mundie, acting senior fraud investigator who led the investigation team against Denath, was fully aware of Yusuf Kandee’s close ties with corruption and that he allegedly was a partner of Edward Zuma, but despite that, Mundie continued with the investigation against Denath, based on Kajee’s word.

We are in possession of a tape recording in which Yegan Mundie refers to Yusuf Kajee as an “idiot” and a “thouroughbred rogue,” also stating that “No matter what you tell him he still wants to be corrupt.” The recording will be made available upon request,” Van der Bijl said.

Van der Bijl also said this matter was an unnecessary waste of public money and the taxpayer had to cough up millions of rand for it. While he was suspended, Denath received a salary for some time still. Moreover, Solidarity learnt confidentially from a source that SARS had initially budgeted R1,2 million to wrap up their case against the member but that the budget was exceeded, in the end costing approximately R2 million. “It is very suspect that SARS was willing to spend so much to fire someone based on a case which had absolutely no merit,” Van der Bijl rightly remarked.

According to Van der Bijl, Yegan Mundie has since resigned from SARS under a cloud. “There is more to this matter than meets the eye, and we will give our full cooperation to the inquiry to ensure that all irregularities are exposed,” Van der Bijl concluded.

Issued by Anton van der Bijl, Head: Solidarity’s Labour Law Services, 31 July 2018