The Minister of Finance, Mr. Enoch Godongwana, has appointed Prof. Thabo Legwaila as Acting Tax Ombudsman, pursuant to sections 14(3) and 14(4) of the Tax Administration Act 2011 (Act No. 28 of 2011), for a period of 3 months, from October 6, 2022 to January 5, 2023.
Prof. Legwaila is currently the Executive Director of the Office of the Fiscal Ombudsman and will continue with these responsibilities.
The interim appointment follows the expiration of the term of the first and only Fiscal Ombudsman, the Honorable Judge BM Ngoepe on September 30, 2022, who served three terms from 2013 to 2022, for a total of 9 years.
The Minister is truly grateful for the excellent job he has done in establishing the Office of the Tax Ombudsman and running it for nine years.
From the inception of the Office, the Honorable Justice BM Ngoepe spearheaded the Office’s aim to help improve South Africa‘s tax administration system and provide a free and fair avenue for resolving taxpayer complaints against the South African Revenue Service.
Among the accomplishments of his tenure, Judge BM Ngoepe established an automated complaint management system, enabled systemic investigations and full reporting when necessary (e.g., alleged delay in reimbursement payments by SARS), and published the first Compilation of Rights, Entitlements and Obligations of Taxpayers to promote awareness of taxpayers’ rights in South Africa.
The incoming Tax Defender, Prof. Legwaila, joined the Office of the Tax Defender as Managing Director in April 2020.
Previously, he served as Head of Tax – Africa at Citi Bank from January 2022 to March 2020.
During that time , 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.
Prior to that, he held the position of Director: Business Tax within the Fiscal Policy and Financial Sector Division of the National Treasury from July 2006 to December 2010.
Prof. Legwaila has a B luris from Venda University, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Post Graduate Diploma in Tax Law (PG Dip Tax) and a Master of Laws 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 diligently.
The Minister of Finance is initiating the selection process for the appointment of the Tax Ombudsman under the terms of section 14 of the Tax Administration Act 2011.