Pretoria - Suspended South African Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane wants the SARS inquiry to be halted pending the finalisation of his disciplinary hearing and has also requested the state pay for his legal fees.
Moyane’s legal representative, Advocate Dali Mpofu, read a submission on behalf of his client and claimed the SARS inquiry was unlawful and asked that the evidence that has been collected from witnesses over past three days to be expunged from the record.
Mpofu was making submissions at the inquiry which is investigating governance and tax administration at SARS.
It is being chaired by Judge Robert Nugent.
Mpofu went into a full-blown attack on the legality of the inquiry, he said his client was unfairly treated as he was not personally invited to come and make submissions at the inquiry.
“It is a grossly and unfair process in the democracy, It’s unfair that the commission didn’t seek to engage with Moyane besides an unsatisfactory courtesy letter. The short notice he got to come here is grossly unfair,” said Mpofu.
Moyane has also taken issue with the inclusion of Professor Michael Katz as part of the commission’s team.
He has asked that he be removed and said Katz had a conflict of interest as he worked as a lawyer for President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Judge Nugent disagreed with Mpofu and said Katz was merely serving as an assistance to him and he was the commission.
Moyane is facing a disciplinary inquiry, which is a separate process from the current SARS inquiry, and his legal team believes these two inquiries cannot be conducted at the same time as it would be “double jeopardy”.
“The idea of facing two kangaroo courts on the same subjects needs to be rejected.”
Witnesses testifying at the inquiry poured called water of the assertion that there was a “rogue unit” at SARS. Mpofu said his client has evidence that proves the existence of a such a unit.
He also labelled former staffers that gave evidence earlier this week “discredited” as they were part of the “rogue unit”.
Gordhan’s testimony was also questioned by Mpofu, who said the minster failed to mention his disdain and unfair treatment towards Moyane.
“Minister Pravin Gordhan refused to shake Tom Moyane’s hand when he was reappointed as finance minister. That was humiliating,” said Mpofu.
Gordhan had also failed to collect over R1 trillion in tax revenue while he was commissioner something that happened twice under Moyane’s leadership, said Mpofu.