SARS IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane has been placed on precautionary suspension pending the finalization of a disciplinary process for “serious misconduct”, according to a statement from SARS.
“Ms. Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s precautionary suspension takes effect immediately,” SARS stated. “It must be re-iterated, that these suspensions are precautionary in nature and as such do not amount to findings of any wrongdoing on the part of the executives concerned.”
The SARS IT head gained public notoriety in a controversial interview on SABC Morning Live.
In the interview, she responded to the interviewer with the phrase: “Ma’am, can you give me protection from yourself”.
Her comments throughout the interview were deflective and combative, resulting in an awkward dialogue which has been mocked heavily since its airing.
Earlier this year, Makhekhe-Mokhuane claimed that she was being bullied by SARS after being placed on discretionary leave, and said she approached the CCMA to go back to work.
The suspension of Makhekhe-Mokhuane brings the total number of SARS executives on precautionary suspension up to five, comprising:
- Hlengani Mathebula, Chief Officer: Governance, International Relations, Strategy and Communications
- Teboho Mokoena, Chief Officer: Human Capital & Development
- Luther Lebelo, Group Executive: Employee Relations
- Refiloe Mokoena, Chief Officer: Legal Counsel
- Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, Chief Officer: Digital, Information and Technology Services
SARS said a ruling on Makhekhe-Mokhuane’s behaviour would be made following the finalisation of the process, and requested that the privacy of all employees placed on precautionary suspension be respected.
“SARS will not comment further on the matter until its concluded,” it said.