SARS official allegedly hacks e-filing for tax fraud syndicate

Mol Pro Consulting, a construction company accused of tax fraud, claims that the allegations against it were caused by a former SARS employee hacking its e-filing account and manipulating its books.

The charges against Mol Pro — which was previously praised for its work by Cyril Ramaphosa in 2017 — claim that it defrauded SARS out of R116 million.

This has forced the company to shut down its operations and saw its tax clearance revoked, reports the Sunday Times.

An internal SARS investigation into Mol Pro’s claims has found that a former SARS employee took over Mol Pro’s books in 2019 and altered its filings all the way back to 2010.

This individual is linked to over 20 other companies’ profiles, including another company being pursued for tax fraud.

Even with this knowledge, the SARS criminal investigations unit and the NPA continue to pursue charges against Mol Pro and its directors.

“SARS’s criminal investigations have been weaponised to target and destroy our multi-award-winning business and have us jailed with no due process,” company director Khothatso Moletsane told the Sunday Times.

“A faceless agent at SARS criminal investigations who has never met us has fraudulently generated charges and had us arrested three times in the past five years.”

“We have lost everything in those five years,” added Moletsane. “We have had 21 court appearances and no trial.”

Moletsane said that he and his brother, Tumelo — who was also a company director — now cannot get jobs because of the accusations against them.

“We have appealed to SARS head office, their operations escalations [department] and even laid a formal complaint with SARS anti-corruption,” he said.

“It’s been eight months, and we have not received any feedback or updates.”

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the brothers’ claims were received in March 2023 and that the national director of public prosecution, Shamila Bathoi, is yet to receive the representations so that she can make a final decision.

However, the Sunday Times reported it had learned that the reasons behind the delay include that the claims are now part of a dispute between SARS’ anti-corruption unit and its criminal investigation unit.

SARS employee problems

This is not the first controversy SARS has had in recent months regarding problems with employees.

In July 2023, SARS won its case after it fired an employee who had been booked off sick was spotted “singing and clapping his hand” at an EFF protest march in 2020.

A previous ruling by the CCMA determined the employee’s dismissal was unfair and that he must be reinstated and awarded his missed pay.

However, the July 2023 Labour Court decision set aside the CCMA’s, with Judge Graham Moshoana determining that the dismissal was fair.

“When he faked illness he must have intended to mislead SARS,” said Moshoana.

The employee in question had told his supervisor that he had taken medication on the day and had ‘become a bit better’.”

“I did not see anything wrong with that. Actually I thought maybe it is good to go out and stretch a bit, as I was not bedridden…So it is true that you might have seen me,” said the employee.

“Unfortunately, the following day I got worse and I did let you know.”

Now read: South Africa’s big banks paid over R18 billion in tax

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SARS official allegedly hacks e-filing for tax fraud syndicate