The Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana has designated Prof. Thabo Legwaila as Acting Tax Ombud, in terms of sections 14(3) and 14(4) of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No 28 of 2011), for a period of 3 months, effective from 6 October 2022 to 5 January 2023. Prof. Legwaila is currently the CEO at the Office of the Tax Ombud and will continue with these responsibilities.
The Acting appointment follows the expiry of the term of office of the first and only Tax Ombud, Honorable Judge BM Ngoepe on 30 September 2022, who served three terms from 2013 until 2022, totaling 9 years. The Minister is truly grateful for the sterling work he has done in establishing the Office of the Tax Ombud and steering it for nine years.
Since the inception of the Office, Honourable Judge BM Ngoepe spearheaded the goal of the Office to help improve the South African tax administration system and provide a free and fair avenue for resolving taxpayers’ complaints against the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
Among the achievements of his tenure, Judge BM Ngoepe established an automated complaints management system, enabled systemic investigations and comprehensive reporting when necessary (e.g.: alleged delayed payment of refunds by SARS) and published the first Compilation of Taxpayers’ Rights, Entitlements and Obligations to promote taxpayer rights awareness in South Africa.
The incoming Tax Ombud, Prof. Legwaila, joined the Office of the Tax Ombud as CEO in April 2020. He was previously employed as Head of Tax: Africa a Citi Bank from January 2022 to March 2020. During that time, he also joined the University of Johannesburg on a part time basis as Professor of Tax Law and held this position for eight years and nine months. Before then, he was employed as Director: Business Tax within the Tax and Financial Sector Policy Division of National Treasury from July 2006 to December 2010.
Prof. Legwaila holds a B luris from the University of Venda, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, a Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Law (PG Dip Tax) and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Cape Town and Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Pretoria.
Minister Godongwana is confident that Prof. Legwaila will execute the responsibility of this position with diligence.
The Minister of Finance is commencing the recruitment process for the appointment of the Tax Ombud in terms of section 14 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.