Pressure on Ramaphosa to deal with Gigaba after Moyane sent packing
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa is cracking the whip and pushing out some political figures and senior public servants linked to former president Jacob Zuma and the Guptas.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa fired SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane following a protracted battle with him.
All eyes are now on what action he will take against Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, who was on Thursday dealt a major blow when the Constitutional Court dismissed his bid to overturn a decision of the high court in Pretoria that he lied under oath in the Fireblade Aviation saga.
Last week, Ramaphosa suspended the NPA’s deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, the special director of public prosecutions, pending the outcome of an inquiry into their fitness for office. Both are known Zuma allies.
Last month, the Transnet board fired group chief executive Siyabonga Gama, saying it was acting on Ramaphosa's instructions.
According to the Presidency, Ramaphosa wrote to Moyane on Thursday telling him that the interim report “paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of the SA Revenue Service and the reckless mismanagement which characterised your tenure as Sars commissioner.”
“Of further, and in many ways greater, concern is your refusal to meaningfully participate in the Sars commission in order to assist with identifying the root causes of the systemic failures at Sars"
Ramaphosa had given Moyane until last Friday to explain why he must not fire him, as recommended by the Nugent interim report. He said Moyane had failed to deal with substantive issues in the representations he made.
“The interim report makes clear that there is considerable evidence, which the commission gathered, indicating that to resolve the challenges at Sars, it would be best to terminate your services,” he said.
Ramaphosa said acting commissioner Mark Kingon would remain in place until a replacement was appointed. Moyane’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, couldn't be reached for comment.
Ramaphosa was now under pressure to deal with Gigaba.
The damning decision of the highest court in the land, a day after the public protector confirmed Gigaba had violated the Constitution by lying in the Fireblade Aviation matter, meant Gigaba no longer had a legal avenue to dispute the issue.
This prompted the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs to summon Gigaba to explain his role in the Fireblade Aviation matter, while the House’s Ethics Committee confirmed it was investigating him.
The committee said on Thursday that it wanted Gigaba to appear before it on Tuesday.
Chairperson Hlomani Chauke spoke strongly against the use of public funds to fight court battles.
“The findings of the Public Protector (Busisiwe Mkhwebane) and the Constitutional Court ruling point to a total disregard for the taxpayers’ resources as large sums of money were spent on frivolous litigation on the matter.
“The committee has to apply its mind to what then needs to happen in recouping money spent on litigation.”
Chauke added that they would present the information to the ethics committee if required to do so.
Co-chairperson of the ethics committee Omie Singh said they would like to conclude their probe as soon as possible, but would wait for the matter to be formally referred to them by Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise.