Public Protector has her sights set on Sars boss Edward Kieswetter

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is currently investigating whether or not Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter has the requisite qualifications for the role he was appointed to in March and for which he took office in May.

Mkhwebane's investigation is scrutinising Kieswetter's appointment, both in terms of his qualifications and the process of his appointment by a panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Kieno Kammies speaks to Ferial Haffajee about the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's current investigation into whether or not Edward Kieswetter has the requisite qualifications for his current role as SARS commissioner.

It would be foolish of us not to see the pattern.

Ferial Haffajee, Columnist - Daily Maverick and at News24

She outlines all the cases Mkhwebane is pursuing that would impact the "recapture faction".

Haffajee says the Public Protector's office has confirmed Mkhwebane is acting on an anonymous complaint related to Kieswetter's appointment.

It targets two aspects, says Haffajee. Firstly, one related to him not having requisite and commensurate experience according to the advert, and secondly that the process was not transparent.

On both counts, I think you can shoot large holes in that argument.

Ferial Haffajee, Columnist - Daily Maverick and at News24

Kieswetter has more than seven degrees, he started the Large Business Centre at Sars, and is credited as a key factor in turning around Sars, she says.

On the transparency issue, Judge Robert Nugent set out a clear procedure on appointing a new Sars commissioner and the panel was made up of decorated South Africans and share the due process with the public, which it did, adds Haffajee.

She questions the nature of these complaints received by the Public Protector which are so often 'anonymous'.

Why are anonymous complainants being given this kind of power?

Ferial Haffajee, Columnist - Daily Maverick and at News24

She says they can be distinguished from genuine whistleblowers which are an important part of democracy.

Listen to the interview below:


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