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'Your decision is largely based on media reports', Moyane tells Ramaphosa

Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.
Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.
Image: Trevor Samson

A legal war between suspended SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane and President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to ensue following a heated exchange of letters between the pair.

On Monday evening‚ Ramaphosa wrote to Moyane‚ informing him of his decision to suspend him pending the outcomes of a disciplinary inquiry. This was after Ramaphosa failed to persuade Moyane to resign voluntarily.

In a letter Moyane wrote to Ramaphosa‚ he said that he would go to court to challenge Ramaphosa’s intention to remove him.

“I am advised that your conduct invites urgent legal review and would obviously be overturned by the courts. In this regard‚ I intend to approach the court to institute an urgent interdict if you fail to adhere to the required undertaking‚” Moyane wrote.

But in the letter of suspension Ramaphosa seemed ready for a legal fight.

“Should you insist on instituting legal proceedings‚ kindly serve any papers filed at the State Attorney‚ Pretoria for our urgent attention‚” Ramaphosa stated.

Moyane has accused Ramaphosa of wanting him out at all costs‚ saying: “It was glaring that you have already made a decision to dismiss me”.

In the letter sent to the president‚ Moyane indicated that he was willing to fight his removal in court.

“It is indisputable that the process adopted by you is unlawful and unconstitutional in that you have made a decision to dismiss or suspend me without affording me an opportunity to be heard‚” Moyane wrote.

He further alleged: “It is clear to me that your decision is largely based on media reports or informed by people with a [biased] view.”

Moyane also made reference to reports that Ramaphosa was going to replace him with former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and said Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ his longtime rival‚ was the source of that information.

In the suspension letter‚ Ramaphosa said a disciplinary process would be instituted. He also cited two reasons why he believed Moyane had to go.

The first‚ and most damning one‚ is how the commissioner managed the matter of Jonas Makwakwa‚ the former SARS chief officer for business and individual tax‚ who resigned from his position last week and was accused of money laundering after the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) flagged cash deposits of R1.7-million made into his bank account.

Ramaphosa further accused Moyane of bringing SARS into disrepute‚ failing in his duties and potentially jeopardising the integrity and viability of SARS in the way he managed tax refunds.

Moyane noted in his letter that he was shocked at the accusations levelled against him by the president.

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