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Sars suspends Richer again

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The SA Revenue Service’s strategic planning and risk group executive, Peter Richer, has been suspended again, Sars said on Wednesday.

Richer was officially suspended on Tuesday, it said in a statement.

He and deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay were initially suspended on December 5 amid allegations of a special projects unit engaging in illegal activities in Sars.

Both men challenged their suspension before the labour court. On December 17, Richer and Sars reached an out of court agreement that his suspension would be lifted to give him time to make representations as to why he should not be suspended.

On Wednesday however, the tax collector said: “Sars has considered Mr Richer’s representations and remains of the view that the situation merits a suspension.”

Pillay went ahead with his labour court bid to be reinstated. The court found Sars breached its contract with him when it suspended him without written notice.

“Clearly… Sars acted in breach of the contract when it issued the suspension notice without complying with… the suspension policy,” Judge Annelie Basson ruled on December 18.

“I am also persuaded that the applicant was not afforded an opportunity to make representations.”

She ordered that Pillay’s suspension be lifted and he returned to work on December 18.

The Sunday Times however reported that Sars handed Pillay a suspension notice the same day. It gave Pillay until January 12 to say why he should not be suspended again. SAPA

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