Suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane was officially served with disciplinary charges on Thursday, following a series of accusations of misconduct, especially one related to alleged R70 million VAT refunds to a Oakbay company. File picture: ANA
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has given his premiers and government heads lessons on how to deal with errant officials - when he charged suspended Sars boss Tom Moyane in less than three months since his suspension.

Ramaphosa placed Moyane on suspension with immediate effect on March 19 this year and made sure to serve him with formal disciplinary charges in less than three months as prescribed by the Public Service Commission.

Moyane was officially, according to the Presidency, served with disciplinary charges on Thursday, following a series of accusations of misconduct, especially one related to alleged R70 million VAT refunds to a Oakbay company - a company belonging to the controversial Gupta family. 

However, prior to his suspension, Moyane denied any acts of misconduct, especially related to the VAT refunds on March 16. Three days later, Ramaphosa acted against him.

Ramaphosa's quick action to charge Moyane apparently came after the PSC in March issued a report entitled the “The Pulse of the Public Service”. In it, government and its entities were urged to charge officials accused of misconduct within a period of three months to avoid fruitless and wasteful expenditure. At the time, the PSC complained that officials were placed on suspension for more than a year while on full pay and benefits.

On Friday, it appeared that Ramaphosa heeded the call when he announced that he had served Moyane with disciplinary charges related to the alleged misconduct in violation of his public duties and responsibilities in terms of the South African Revenue Service Act, Public Service Act and Sars Code of Conduct.

The Presidency also announced that retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O’Regan would head the disciplinary inquiry.

Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said “the inquiry will be conducted in writing to make findings, subject to the presiding officer’s discretion to hear oral evidence”.

While the Presidency did not outline the charges, one of the charges relates to his handling of the Jonas Makwakwa matter. He was charged with several counts of misconduct and later acquitted at an internal disciplinary hearing.

It is understood that Ramaphosa was concerned about Moyane's alleged treatment of the report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre, and his alleged failure to report to the minister of finance.

Makwakwa has since resigned from Sars, without any repercussions, and according to insiders that irked Ramaphosa.

He had indicated that Moyane, as Sars commissioner, held a high position of trust in the management of the country's public finances.

Pretoria News