CLARITY ON MEDIA ALLEGATIONS RELATING TO NICS AND SARS
New Integrated Credit Solutions (Pty) Ltd (NICS) has recently been beset by unwarranted and undeserved negative publicity. We therefore find it necessary to set the record straight to dispel any doubts as to our commitment to our PRIDE Values (People – Respect – Integrity – Development – Excellence). We hold ourselves to the highest standards of corporate governance, ethics and we are arguably the leading Level 1 BEE Black owned and controlled company in our industry.
The allegations levelled against us are as follows:
- It is being alleged that NICS paid a supposed kickback of R600 000.00 to Mr Jonas Makwakwa who until recently was the second most senior SARS official, via Mahube, a company that is a NICS service provider.
- It is further alleged that we are the subject of a money laundering investigation by the HAWKS as well as the Financial Intelligence Centre.
- That there is a questionable relationship between our Human Resources Director, Ms Mpho Makwakwa and Mr Jonas Makwakwa.
NICS was first appointed from 2003 to 2005 as a SARS debt collector. We were again appointed from 2007 to 2008. During both terms of appointment, we excelled in our task, as we easily surpassed the targets that were given to us by SARS. During our 2007 – 2008 service period SARS sought our help to upskill their debt collection department. We then seconded 50 of our collection and Supervisory staff members to work at the SARS Collection Centre for a period of 12 months.
SARS later successfully adopted us as a preferred supplier in debt collection in a letter date 09th September 2015. We further participated in a tender for debt collection services issued by SARS in the last quarter of 2015.
After a rigorous evaluation process, we were appointed as part of a panel of ten debt collecting agencies on the 17th December 2015. We were once again reconfirmed as an active debt collector when we entered into a Service Level Agreement with SARS in 2017. All appointed debt collectors are awaiting debtors book handover and yet to commence with our debt collection task.
The assertion that NICS sub-contracted Mahube to work on SARS business and Mahube in turn paid out a bribe on our behalf is both far-fetched and untrue. We have not engaged nor contracted Mahube on any of our service offerings to SARS. We only contracted Mahube to work with NICS on a contract for the Department of Water and Sanitation since 2013 to date. We therefore reject any form of allegations of bribery in this regard, with the contempt it deserves.
The allegation that we are under investigation by law enforcement agencies is equally unfounded. We are to date not aware of any investigations being conducted against us, nor have we ever been contacted by any law enforcement agency.
In early 2017, a national newspaper reported on this matter. We subsequently convened a meeting with the Editor of the said newspaper to dispel the fabrications and the matter was amicably addressed and laid to rest. It is with great shock that we received a further report by the Daily Maverick, with added salacious angle that our Ms. Makwakwa who bares the same surname with Mr Jonas Makwakwa were related and this could have somehow influenced our appointment as a SARS service provider.
Our Ms. Mpho Makwakwa was appointed in 2014 as a NICS Director and bears no relationship, family or otherwise to Mr Jonas Makwakwa. Upon joining NICS, she carried her marital surname Kekana and post her divorce, she reverted to her maiden surname Makwakwa. She is an outstanding professional with a track record second to none. Furthermore, as an Executive Director, her contribution to NICS and its customer base is highly valued.
NICS has been an examplary corporate citizen throughout its sixteen years of existence. As a largely Black owned and managed company, we provide direct employment to 200 people. As a good Corporate Citizen, we pay our taxes and play a significant role in the transformation of the debt collection industry. Government has frequently consulted with us on issues of transformation and its role as the industry regulator. Thousands of people from marginalised communities have benefited from our Corporate Social Investment Programmes. These programmes include support for learners, child support, the elderly, Orphanages, child shelters, sports and culture amongst others.
Our Founder and Chairman served on the Board of the Association of Debt Recovery Agents (ADRA), an independent debt collection regulatory body for a period of 10 years. He was nominated by the Debt Collection Industry and subsequently appointed by the Minister of Justice to sit as a Board Member on the Council for Debt Collectors, where he served two consecutive 3 year terms.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing excellent service that adds real value to our clients. Our resolve is not to be distracted by media reports that are unsubstantiated and remain focused in putting OUR VALUED CLIENTS FIRST.
BAKER MJ MASEKO