Hogan Lovells' role in the Makwakwa investigation

Hogan Lovells was instructed by South African Revenue Services (SARS) in October 2016 to conduct an independent investigation into allegations against Mr Jonas Makwakwa and Ms Kelly Ann Elskie. This was in response to a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which identified various financial transactions involving Makwakwa and Elskie, which the FIC deemed to be suspicious or unusual.

The scope of the investigation conducted by Hogan Lovells was limited to identifying whether any misconduct had been committed by Makwakwa and Elskie as employees of SARS. It did not seek to directly investigate the financial transactions identified by the FIC. We understand that all criminal related allegations arising from the FIC report were referred to the relevant authorities for investigation.

As a result of that independent investigation, Hogan Lovells produced a report which contained recommendations for the management of SARS. One of those recommendations was that disciplinary action should be taken against Makwakwa for non-disclosure of external interests. No action was recommended against Elskie. SARS subsequently followed its own internal disciplinary procedures which included charges relating to Makwakwa's breach of his suspension conditions and the failure to disclose. A hearing was convened and chaired by an independent senior counsel, Advocate Terry Motau SC. The findings of that internal enquiry acquitted Makwakwa of all charges.

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