Sars inquiry judge portraying me as ‘the devil incarnate’‚ Moyane tells Ramaphosa

Suspended South African Revenue Services commissioner Tom Moyane.
Suspended South African Revenue Services commissioner Tom Moyane.
Image: Esa Alexander / The Times

Suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane has accused retired judge Robert Nugent of being hell-bent on portraying acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon “as an angel” while Moyane is deemed “the devil incarnate”.

In a six-page letter to Ramaphosa‚ Moyane has lambasted Nugent’s interim report‚ which recommends that Moyane be fired from Sars immediately.

Moyane’s lawyer‚ Eric Mabuza‚ argues that the report constitutes a “thinly-veiled attempt to campaign for the permanent appointment of Mr Mark Kingon who is the acting commissioner of Sars”.

Mabuza said it was deplorable and backward that Nugent referred to Moyane as “calamitous” and to Kingon as “admirable”.

“To any neutral and reasonable reader‚ it is clear that Mr Nugent is hell-bent on portraying Mr Mark Kingon‚ the acting commissioner‚ as an angel‚ juxtaposed with the portrayal of Mr Moyane as the devil incarnate‚” the letter reads.

Moyane has asked Ramaphosa to reject Nugent’s report‚ saying: “We state upfront and categorically that the recommendations of Mr Nugent and his assistants must be rejected and cannot possibly be implemented.”

In his interim report‚ Nugent said it was important that they make the recommendation to fire Moyane now and not wait for the final report - expected to be out in December - to be made public.

“We are aware that disciplinary proceedings are pending against Mr Moyane but we consider that to be irrelevant to our recommendation. Our concern is not disciplinary transgression but instead the management of SARS‚” Nugent said in his report.

Nugent described Moyane’s leadership of SARS as disturbing and to the detriment of revenue collections.

Mabuza argued that the report fell outside of the inquiry’s terms of reference and was irrational.

“The terms of reference of the Sars commission do not include employment issues of individuals and specifically exclude the employment or dismissal of commissioner Moyane‚ which the president consciously delegated to the disciplinary inquiry chaired by Advocate Azhar Bham‚” he said.

Mabuza further told Ramaphosa that it was confusing whether the Nugent’s interim report was final or not and‚ if it was final‚ then the Sars commission would have to close its eyes and ears to other evidence that may still come before it.

“If the report is interim‚ then it is premature. If it is final then it is draconian and unduly oppressive‚” the letter reads.

Moyane has insisted that the Sars commission is clearly pursuing a long predetermined outcome and that he was a victim of bias.

Ramaphosa has until next week Friday to indicate to Moyane whether or not he will implement Nugent’s interim report.

“Should the president be inclined to accept the recommendations‚ he is hearby specifically invited to explain his conduct in the answering affidavit in the pending Constitutional Court case dealing…with the legality of the Sars commission‚” Mabuza said.

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