Questions on Hogan Lovells report on MJ Makwakwa and KA Elskie

South African law firm Hogan Lovells today welcomed questions from Parliament on its 300+ page report on MJ Makwakwa and KA Elskie.  Hogan Lovells’ South Africa Chairman, Lavery Modise, made the following comments: 

“Anyone reading the report will see very quickly and easily that our investigation into the suspicious payments identified by FIC and made to Makwakwa was specifically limited to whether the payments were a breach of SARS internal policies and/or the Public Finance Management Act. 

Far from being a whitewash, the opposite is true as the report states that: ‘….the majority of the cash deposits and payments identified in the FIC report and highlighted therein as “suspicious and unusual” remained unverified.’  And that ‘the explanation tendered by Makwaka in relation to the source of these deposits are not satisfactory.’  This leaves the door fully open to criminal investigation and charges by SAPS.  

“The report makes it very clear that there was no clearing of Makwakwa of any acts of corruption or acts of money laundering or of tax evasion. Instead, and as I previously stated to Parliament, it notes that these areas are to be determined by the DPCI and SARS itself with PWC.

“It is also clear from reading the evidence in the report that Makwakwa, through his lawyers at Baker & McKenzie, consistently challenged the authority of our investigation in to his conduct as an employee of SARS and refused to provide the necessary evidence to support the source of many of the seventy five suspicious cash deposits identified by FIC.

“In no way did our report clear Makwakwa of employee misconduct. Rather, the report recommended that disciplinary action should be taken against him for failure to disclose private business interests, failure to obtain permission to undertake outside employment work for Biz Fire Worx, and failure to co-operate and fully assist his employer in an investigation.  

“It was the SARS-led disciplinary tribunal conducted by disciplinary chair advocate Terry Motau SC that found Makwakwa not guilty on these charges and not Hogan Lovells.

“A number of politicians and campaigners have made extreme claims against my firm based solely on accusation and insinuation. They have claimed to have ‘evidence’ that we have colluded in state capture when nothing is further from the truth. With the publication of this report we expect those claims to stop immediately and an apology to be offered to us.”

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