South African Revenue Service (Sars) IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane has apologised for the way she acted while being asked questions about the institution's crumbling digital infrastructure this week.
"My conduct, posture and demeanour during both the Morning Live interview and Nugent Commission may have given an impression of arrogance, nonchalance and unprofessionalism, and brought my competence and expertise into question," she said in a statement on Saturday.
"This is unfortunate and regrettable. For this I take full responsibility. I apologise to everyone who was disappointed or offended by how I handled both situations. There is no excuse or justification for this."
South Africans reacted with outrage, disbelief and concern for her health after a video of Makhekhe-Mokhuane speaking to Sakina Kamwendo on SABC's Morning Live on Wednesday morning went viral.
At one point, Kamwendo again asked what needed to be done to fix the tax body's IT infrastructure and Makhekhe-Mokhuane responded: "Ma-am, can you give me protection from yourself?"
Kamwendo and others in the studio are heard laughing at her comment.
City Press also reported on perplexing comments she made when addressing the Nugent commission of inquiry into the tax service on Wednesday.
When offered the chance to inspect minutes to show she had not attended many Sars meetings, she reportedly responded: "I have a very rare eye disease, but let's try."
The newspaper also reported that when she was asked to give clarity on what she had said in her affidavit, confusion ensued when she cited the date on which the Drakensberg Boys Choir was established and she later dropped the analogy.