South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane and suspended deputy commissioner Jonas Makwakwa have been drawn into a heated labour dispute over a constructive dismissal at the institution.
SARS lawyers said yesterday they would be called to testify at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to test claims made at the hearing of ousted former spokesman Adrian Lackay.
Lackay faced intense cross-examination at the CCMA offices in Johannesburg. His case centres on what he claims was his constructive dismissal from SARS.
Lackay‚ who resigned in February 2015‚ said he was forced out of SARS because of a breakdown in relations with Moyane and Makwakwa.
The poor working conditions relate to Lackay being excluded from meetings and media briefings on the allegations that SARS had a rogue spy unit and the subsequent resignations of senior staff Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg.
Pillay was SARS deputy commissioner and Van Loggerenberg its group executive. The rogue unit allegations were later found to be baseless.
Makwakwa is on suspension after R1.3-million was allegedly deposited into his bank account, over and above his salary.
In previous CCMA testimony‚ Lackay said his working conditions were untenable and that he was identified as a problem spokesman at SARS.
Lackay was grilled by SARS lawyer Wisani Sibuyi, who said: “We will show you are disrespectful. That you disobey lawful instructions.”
Lackay said: “I tried to do my work‚ while things were hidden from me when SARS was in serious trouble in the media.”
He said as SARS’ spokesman, he would have expected to be consulted about this‚ “especially if there was a problem with how communications were done”.
Sibuyi said Moyane and Makwakwa would be called to test Lackay’s testimony.