This was the view made yesterday by attorney Eric Mabuza; the beleaguered suspended Sars commissioner’s legal representative, who was addressing the media at a briefing in Joburg.
Mabuza, who was speaking on behalf of his client, said a court action would’ve been launched against the president if Ramaphosa had not met Moyane’s demands.
“His options are limited; he had to do what we wanted him to,” Mabuza emphasised, adding that the government’s response was “sensible”.
Mabuza wrote to Ramaphosa last week arguing against what the attorney called “the gross unfairness of being simultaneously subjected to both processes”, which they believe to be the same or largely overlap.
This relates to the inquiry Ramaphosa gazetted in May to probe supposed governance problems at Sars, as well as the disciplinary hearing the president announced in March after suspending Moyane for an alleged “deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised”.
Moyane’s disciplinary hearing is expected to hear oral submissions on July 21 and will be chaired by advocate Azhar Bham.
The commission of inquiry is chaired by retired Judge Robert Nugent and is expected to produce an interim report in September and a final outcome in November.
In his letter to Ramaphosa, Mabuza said the simultaneous inquiries were unfair and irrational, where they demanded that the president disband or stay one or both of the inquiries; including the removal of Professor Michael Katz, who the lawyer believes is Ramaphosa’s personal attorney, as one of Nugent’s assistants in the inquiry.
State attorney AGF Mokgale, on behalf of Ramaphosa, responded to Mabuza on Friday, writing that the president understood that Moyane’s disciplinary hearing was scheduled for later this month, at which Mabuza’s objection would be argued and decided.
In respect to the demands related to the commission of inquiry, Mokgale said there were no hearings scheduled until next month - therefore there could be no prejudice to Moyane should advocate Bham’s hearing be awaited.
“In the circumstances, the president will give his answer to the list of demands made in your letter once he has had the benefit of the consideration of the ruling of Advocate Bham SC in relation to the matter,” Mokgale wrote to Mabuza.
Mabuza, who represents Moyane at both the Sars commission of inquiry and his disciplinary hearing, called Ramaphosa’s response “a breath of fresh air”, believing the president had blinked first in what the lawyer termed the ongoing saga.