South Africa 30.6.2018 01:02 pm

Role of EFF’s Mpofu in Moyane inquiry questioned

While Advocate Dali Mpofu has complained of a conflict of interest regarding the role of Professor Michael Katz in the Sars inquiry, some have accused the EFF leader of the same.

Journalist Max du Preez is among the voices questioning Tom Moyane’s decision to employ the EFF’s Dali Mpofu as his advocate, calling it a potential conflict of interest.

The conflict could potentially stem from two interrelated areas – tax and cigarettes. Sars investigated how EFF leader Julius Malema paid his 18 million tax bill in 2014, with News24 alleging that “impeccable sources” found tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti to be a generous financial donor to Malema who is suspected to be behind the tax repayments.

Mazzotti, who was also accused of funding Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential campaign in Jacques Pauw’s explosive book, The President’s Keepers, is director of cigarette company Carnilinx, which is under investigation by Sars for smuggling and tax evasion

It has emerged during the Nugent inquiry into misconduct at Sars that former executive Jonas Makwakwa, thought to be Tom Moyane’s right hand man, halted the inspection of cigarette companies . This is according to testimony given by ex-Sars employee Gene Ravele.

Mpofu, acting on behalf of Moyane, on Friday called for the inquiry to be halted altogether, in an interesting turn of events considering that Moyane himself initially called for the inquiry to take place.

Mpofu also called for all testimony given over the last three days to be expunged from the record, claiming the evidence given so far has been unfair and unlawful.

Also interestingly, considering the questions regarding whether Mpofu representing Moyane is a conflict of interest, part of the advocate’s reasons for wanting the Nugent inquiry discontinued is what he himself believes to be conflict of interest involving Professor Michael Katz, who is an a legal representative of President Ramaphosa, seen by some as Moyane’s adversary.

“You can be the most competent person, judge or human being, but if you are conflicted, you are conflicted,” Mpofu said.

Whether the same applies to advocates is not yet clear.

 

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