Edward Kieswetter was appointed as the new Commissioner at the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Kieswetter has been appointed by President Ramaphosa with effect from 1 May 2019 after his appointment was recommended by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni.
Kieswetter was the first choice of the independent panel, which interviewed a number of candidates before he was selected. The panel was chaired by Trevor Manuel, who was the longest serving finance minister in the democratic dispensation. Other candidates that made the shortlist were: Nathanial Mabetwa, Sunita Manik, Mark Kingon, Gene Ravele and Nazrien Kader.
The National Treasury said in a statement that it “is confident that the process undertaken has integrity and all necessary disclosures were made and no conflicts have been identified throughout the process”. Kieswetter served as Deputy Commissioner at SARS between 2000 and 2009 and worked at Alexander Forbes as Group Chief Executive.
“We have all the confidence that Mr Kieswetter has the experience, integrity and skills required to turn SARS around by restoring revenue collection, redirecting operations towards innovation, developing future leaders for the organisation, and restoring SARS’ credibility and integrity,” said President Ramaphosa after Kieswetter’s appointment.
Kieswetter holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education majoring in mathematics and engineering from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He also holds an Honours Degree in Education from the University of Western Cape (UWC) and three Masters degrees from the North West University, Henley Business School and UWC . The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has indicated that it is looking at legal options to reverse Kieswetter’s appointment. The organisation cried foul over the appointment and said that the interviews were secret and not transparent.