Moyane laments being likened to a 'devil' in letter to Ramaphosa

Suspended Commissioner of Sars Tom Moyane.
Suspended Commissioner of Sars Tom Moyane.
Image: Alon Skuy

Suspended tax boss Tom Moyane has accused retired judge Robert Nugent of being hell-bent on portraying acting revenue commissioner Mark Kingon “as an angel” while Moyane is deemed “a devil”.

In a six-page letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Moyane has lambasted Nugent’s interim report that recommends that he be fired from the SA Revenue Service 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 collection. Mabuza argued that the report fell outside its 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 unclear whether 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 predetermined outcome and that he is a victim of bias.

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

“Should the President be inclined to accept the recommendations he is ... 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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