Johannesburg - Beleaguered former South African Revenue Services (SARS) boss Tom Moyane's lawyers have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa demanding that he reverse his decision to fire Moyane following recommendations from an inquiry led by retired Judge Robert Nugent.
Moyane's lawyers demanded that Ramaphosa withdraw their client's dismissal letter by Friday, or face another court challenge.
''For these and countless other grounds of unlawfulness, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you withdraw your letter of termination dated 1 November 2018, restore the status quo which obtained before the service thereof (i.e. that our client is suspended with pay pending outcome of the disciplinary inquiry...,'' read the letter, dated November 5.
''Upon your failure to do so on or before 12h00 Friday 9 November 2018, we hold firm instructions to institute urgent court proceedings without any further notice to you, to seek orders inter alia declaring your aforementioned conduct to be irrational, unlawful, and invalid and also interdicting, you pending the outcome of the Constitutional Court, from purporting to receive, accept and/or implement any 'recommendations' of the Sars commission...''
Ramaphosa is also warned to not appoint a replacement for Moyane, as the latter is ''to hold that office until his term of office expires or until he is lawfully removed''.
The legal tug of war between Ramaphosa and Moyane started when the president established a commission of inquiry into governance at SARS, headed by Nugent. Moyane has objected to both the inquiry and a separate disciplinary committee, claiming ''double jeopardy'' and being prejudiced for being dragged into two parallel processes.
In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said that the interim report from the Nugent commission “paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of Sars and the reckless mismanagement which characterised your tenure as commissioner of Sars''.
''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 and ways in which to arrest these.''
Moyane turned to the Constitutional Court to challenge the lawfulness of the Nugent inquiry.
The inquiry is also probing allegations of financial misconduct at SARS and tax administration failures, including a shortfall of R50 billion between 2014 and 2018 under Moyane. Ramaphosa suspended Moyane in the wake of the commission's probe and appointed Mark Kingon as acting commissioner.
African News Agency (ANA)