The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said in a statement that an employee working in the Bloemfontein debt management office, has been arrested following a sting operation by the HAWKS for allegedly soliciting a bribe from a taxpayer.
The employee allegedly offered to write off a taxpayer’s tax debt in return for the payment of R20,000. SARS, said it will co-operate fully with the HAWKS in the investigation.
Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said that while SARS will not pre-empt the ongoing investigation, the organisation wished to state that it would not tolerate any of its officials engaging in any collusion with taxpayers neither any act of criminal malfeasance.
“Employees of SARS hold positions of privilege and trust, and are expected to display the highest levels of professionalism, act with utmost honesty and integrity, and apply the tax and customs laws competently, without any fear, favour and prejudice,” he said.
“We cannot stand by a fallow the hard work of many honest SARS employees to be undermined and compromised.”
Kieswetter added that all SARS employees should to keep their conduct beyond reproach in the service of the country and its people in line with Vision 2024, which seeks to build a SARS with unquestionable integrity that can be trusted and admired by Government and the Public. Any actions that distracts from achieving this vision has no place in SARS.
The arrested person will appear in court on Wednesday.