Swaziland
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RATE MEMBERS RE-APPOINTED, SWORN-IN

MBABANE – The swearing-in of the re-appointed members of the Revenue Appeals Tribunal Eswatini (RATE) will see tax appeals being dealt with and finalised.

The seven members were sworn-in by Justice Sifiso Sibandze, Judge President of the Industrial Court of Appeal yesterday. These members were the same members who established the organisation three years ago and have been re-appointed to serve again for yet another three years.

Powers

They were re-appointed by the Minister of Finance, Neal Rijkenberg, while exercising his powers conferred by Section 3 (2) of the Revenue Appeal Tribunal Act No. 13 of 2019. The members are Mbuso Simelane, John Henwood, Sandile Dlamini, Ntombenhle Shongwe, Fikile Dlamini, Musa Hlatshwayo and Khethiwe Dlamini. In an interview with this publication, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RATE Nelsiwe Hlophe said there were over 10 cases pending with the tribunal, which were being attended to during the first term of office of the members.

Re-appointed

She said unfortunately while the members were still dealing with the cases, their term of office elapsed. She said, therefore, now that the members had been re-appointed and sworn-in, they would be able to continue with the cases and finalise them. She highlighted that at least four cases were finalised by the organisation since its inception. She stated that it was worth noting that in the first term of office, the members were still busy establishing the organisation as it was new and the establishment processes were still ongoing. Hlophe said re-appointing the same members would be of good use as they were experienced and knew the organisation in and out, hence would help in finalising the establishment processes.

Experience

Speaking during the swearing in ceremony, Hlophe said she believed the members would continue to perfectly contribute to the RATE with their vast professional experience. She said members were expected to continue with their mandate of adjudicating the tax appeal cases, which most of them had hearing dates to avoid backlog of cases. The CEO highlighted that the RATE is a newly-established organisation, mandated to determine tax appeals emanating from the decision of the commissioner general.

Significance

Hlophe said in recognition of the significance of the responsibility bestowed on the members who serve the Tribunal, one of the code of ethics requires that, upon entering office, take the oath. The oath is an important ceremonial gesture signifying the official start to the member’s term in office. “Members are expected to continue with their mandate of adjudicating the tax appeal cases, which most of them have hearing dates to avoid backlog of cases,” said the CEO.