Suspended South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane says he will head to court if two inquiries into his alleged misconduct at the tax body continues.
In a statement presented by his lawyer Eric Mabuza on Monday, Moyane said that he is being treated unfairly, having been suspended, while also facing verbal insults and what he called a “trial by media”.
Moyane is facing two inquiries, one into the governance at SARS being conducted by former judge Robert Nugent, and another upcoming internal disciplinary hearing into his actions as head of SARS.
Moyane’s legal team had written to president Cyril Ramaphosa demanding that one or both of the inquiries be halted or called off, saying that they should not run concurrently. Mabuza, meanwhile, repeated the allegation that certain panelists in said inquiries were “compromised”.
Responding to Moyane’s demands, Ramaphosa reportedly denied the request, saying that he wants to first wait for a decision from the chairperson of the disciplinary inquiry, advocate Azhar Bham, on whether he agrees with Moyane that having two inquiries is unfair.
Moyane welcomed the decision by Ramaphosa, but was clear that should two concurrent inquiries proceed, the matter would undoubtedly head to court.
The SARS head was suspended ‘with immediate effect’ in March following a deterioration in the public’s confidence in him to manage the country’s tax affairs.
Under Moyane’s leadership at SARS, tax collection faltered, and the suspended commissioner’s name turned up in a number of scandals.
Moyane faced criticism from lawmakers for his handling of an investigation into accusations his former deputy Jonas Makwakwa and his partner received R1.2 million in suspicious payments, and allegations of mismanaging tax refunds.
Moyane was also the figure who launched the failed investigation into minister Pravin Gordhan and former SARS executives over the so-called “rogue unit”, which relied on a KPMG report of which parts were ultimately found to be misrepresentative.
“Part of the report which refers to conclusions, recommendations and legal opinions should no longer be relied upon,” KPMG said in late 2017.
The specific charges relate to alleged misconduct in violation of his duties and responsibilities in terms of the South African Revenue Service Act, Public Finance Management Act and the Revenue Service’s code of conduct.
The tax boss has denied the claims, and has alleged that evidence being presented against him has been doctored.