“SARS to deal decisively with corrupt employees”

News South Africa

Tebogo Msimanga |

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said it has noted with concern the arrest of an employee, Sello Lentsoane, for alleged corruption.

 It is alleged that Lentsoane, who was off duty on the 3rd December 2020, travelled to Tshilwavhusiku Police Station in full SARS uniform and pretended that SARS had sent him to collect a truck which was loaded with cigarettes.

The truck was carrying 742 boxes (master cases) of Remington Gold cigarettes with a customs value of R1,398,670.00. The loss to the state (tax at risk) was calculated at R8, 504,451.55.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) called SARS to make sure whether it had authorised the release of the truck to SARS.

SARS informed their SAPS counterparts that Lentsoane, who was supposedly on leave on the day, was not authorised to remove the truck from Tshilwavhusiku to Beit Bridge Border Post.

Lentsoane together with co-accused Chann Bezuidenhout (64) and his son Christian Bezuidenhout (19) appeared at Tshilwavhusiku Magistrate Court on 4 December for a bail application.

The Bezuidenhouts were granted bail while Lentsoane’s bail’s application was denied. He will appear again Court on 15 December 2020.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter expressed his determination to root out corruption within SARS. “Those who indulge in criminal acts are a disgrace to the organisation and the country. SARS will do everything in its power and to the full extent of the law to deal decisively with corrupt employees and their accomplices.”

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