Moyane wants job back – but to stay suspended

Tom Moyane
Tom Moyane
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s loss of confidence in Sars boss Tom Moyane was sufficient reason to exercise his executive power to fire him‚ provided it was rational.

This was at the heart of Ramaphosa’s case before the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ where arguments were heard in Moyane’s bid to get his job back.

Moyane’s counsel‚ Dali Mpofu‚ told the court the sacked tax boss wanted to be reinstated – but remain on suspension so he could “face the music”.

Mpofu said Moyane did not want to go back to his desk but was happy to remain on suspension and face a disciplinary inquiry.

This is after Moyane had spent the past nine months avoiding answering directly to any allegations put to him by either the disciplinary process or in the Sars commission of inquiry chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent.

Nugent recommended Moyane’s axing in an interim report to Ramaphosa‚ saying it was imperative that he appoint a permanent commissioner to begin the Sars renewal process.

The Nugent inquiry was investigating governance issues at the tax agency‚ which has been mired in allegations of mismanagement that have deprived the fiscus of billions.

Sars has had a shortfall of about R100bn since Moyane took over in 2014.

Mpofu said there would be no inconvenience to Ramaphosa if he were to reinstate Moyane.

Kameshni Pillay‚ for Ramaphosa‚ said reinstating Moyane would deprive the president of his right to exercise his executive power.

She said the appointment of the Sars commissioner, and by extension his removal, were at the president’s discretion.

Judge Hans Fabricius said he would hand down judgment before December 14‚ which is the deadline for Nugent to submit his final report to Ramaphosa. -BusinessLIVE

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