Suspended South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has been accused of sabotaging the speedy conclusion of his disciplinary hearing by using “technical points” to not respond to the charges he is facing, Sowetan reports.
The accusation by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers goes on to say that if Moyane is seeking to urgently clear his name, as he suggests, he should have by now answered to the allegations levelled against him in an affidavit.
“Instead, Mr Moyane seeks to turn sound disciplinary procedure on its head by refusing to answer to the substance of the allegations against him until his technical points have been determined. In so doing, Mr Moyane is effectively sabotaging the speedy conclusion of his disciplinary inquiry,” the president’s lawyers said in heads of argument submitted prior to the first hearing on Moyane’s disciplinary hearing on Saturday.
Ramaphosa’s lawyers revealed five witnesses will give evidence at the inquiry and will challenge Moyane’s argument that there is no real case against him.
The witnesses the presidency’s lawyers have named include Sars employee Helgard Lombard whom Moyane allegedly instructed to feign illness in the event auditing firm KPMG contacted him in connection with its investigation into the so-called rogue unit.
The president’s lawyers further accuse Moyane of attempting to lay down the terms for his own disciplinary hearing.
It is reported that the suspended Sars commissioner’s argument is that the way in which the inquiry is being conducted is “unlawful, unfair, unconstitutional and manifestly oppressive” by not allowing oral evidence to be submitted.
Moyane has reportedly affirmed that he will only be able to respond to the allegations against him once his objections have been resolved.
According to the report, Moyane has stated that he wants the president to testify against him and that documentary evidence should not be used to decide the outcome of his case.
Furthermore, the suspended Sars commissioner claims the case he is facing was brought by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, whom he says is not authorised to give evidence.
Moyane’s disciplinary hearing covers the deterioration in public confidence in Sars, the handling of the Financial Intelligence Centre report on Jonas Makwakwa, the potential mismanagement of refunds that “had brought Sars into serious disrepute and potentially jeopardised the integrity of Sars as collector of revenue and adversely affected tax morality among taxpayers”.
The Nugent commission of inquiry has also heard how Moyane’s leadership of Sars almost collapsed the institution, among other things.