Luther Lebelo Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA
Johannesburg- The spotlight of the Nugent ­Commission’s hearings will again focus on the controversial South African Revenue Service's human resources head, Luther Lebelo, and the law firm he allegedly used to purge senior staff members.

Lebelo was on Monday due to make his second appearance before the commission, tasked to probe administration and governance at Sars following the appointment of now suspended commissioner Tom Moyane in September 2014.

Since the hearings began in June, various witnesses have given incriminating evidence against Lebelo, who was seen as a “hitman for Moyane”.

In July, a witness testified about how Lebelo used a Sars letterhead to write a letter to the editor of a Joburg daily newspaper to attack rating agencies and the governing ANC - without suffering any consequences.

He wrote that rating agencies were nothing but organised economic gangs. He also said these agencies had been used by South Africa’s "former oppressors to whip us into line”.

On the ANC, he wrote: “The governing ANC, which has been voted into power by the South African citizenry, the majority of whom are black Africans, has been tamed and managed by the rating agencies.

The witness, Tshebeletso Seremane - former Sars group executive: integrity promotion - testified that she pushed for disciplinary action to be taken against Lebelo, but Moyane declined to do so.

She said she was told that Lebelo wrote the letter in his personal capacity - despite using a Sars letterhead.

In July, former Sars acting commissioner Ivan Pillay testified about the fear that gripped fellow Sars employees since Moyane’s appointment, including the purge that allegedly followed them after being accused of having operated a “rogue unit” in the revenue authority - allegedly used to spy on former president Jacob Zuma.

The commission heard from various witnesses that Lebelo was instrumental in laying disciplinary charges against those alleged to have been involved in the disputed rogue unit.

Last month, Lebelo made a failed bid to distance himself from allegations that he was Moyane’s hitman and that he dealt harshly with those, including Pillay, who were perceived to be Moyane’s rivals.

Today, Lebelo was due to give evidence about the existence of the "rogue unit". He allegedly paid law firm Mashiane, Moodley & Monama Inc almost R1 million to compile papers to show that the unit had existed while Pillay was at the helm.

Political Bureau