Gordhan welcomes Tom Moyane's state capture cross-examination

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will be cross-examined by axed former Sars boss Tom Moyane at the state capture inquiry.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will be cross-examined by axed former Sars boss Tom Moyane at the state capture inquiry.
Image: Alon Skuy

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has welcomed his impending cross-examination by former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane at the state capture commission.

Permission was granted on Monday for Moyane to cross-examine Gordhan.

"Today’s ruling by the deputy chief justice [Raymond Zondo] will be a welcome opportunity for Mr Moyane to explain why he should not be held accountable for the 'massive failure of integrity and governance at Sars' and the 'reckless mismanagement on the part of Mr Moyane' that the Nugent inquiry established occurred under his tenure," said the ministry.

"Minister Gordhan’s counsel will similarly apply to the chairperson of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture to cross-examine Mr Moyane."

In his ruling on Monday, Zondo said lawyers for Moyane may have their turn to grill Gordhan next year - but their line of questioning must relate to allegations made against Moyane.

The commission granted Moyane's appeal for cross-examination on condition that Moyane delivered to the commission his own affidavit responding specifically to Gordhan's allegations against him.

Zondo said it was "necessary for this commission to hear Moyane's version or his side of the story".

"Minister Gordhan welcomes the direction from the chairperson that Mr Moyane must finally produce his full version on oath by January 15 2020 on the identified issues," said the ministry.

The ministry also noted that:

  • Moyane had been granted leave to cross-examine on the limited issues of his motivations for filing a criminal complaint in 2015 and whether he sought to advance the state capture project while he was Sars commissioner;
  • the complaint by Moyane resulted in criminal charges against Gordhan and others, and those charges were withdrawn in October 2016 by former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams;
  • those charges related to the approval of the early retirement and pension payout to former acting Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay in December 2010; and
  • Moyane had consistently refused to testify at the Nugent commission of inquiry into Sars.

The Nugent inquiry, which submitted its report to President Cyril Ramaphosa in December last year, said Moyane arrived without integrity and then dismantled the elements of governance one by one.

"This was more than mere mismanagement. It was seizing control of Sars as if it was his to have," the report found.

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