Johannesburg - Suspended South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane has continued making demands on President Cyril Ramaphosa in an attempt to alter the terms of his disciplinary inquiry.
The latest request from Moyane is for Judge Kate O’Regan to recuse herself from presiding over his inquiry for fear she might not be able to be unbiased and fair.
Moyane argues that because O’Regan is a board member of civil organisation Corruption Watch, she will not be able to give him a fair hearing as the organisation had been on a campaign to have him removed from Sars.
The former Constitutional Court justice is also the member of the advisory board at the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.
The disgraced commissioner’s lawyers have written to both Ramaphosa and O’Regan and have given her until Friday to respond to their requests for her recusal.
He has threatened to approach the court if his requests were not met.
Eric Mabuza, Moyane’s lawyer, said his client had the right to a fair hearing and that there should not be any doubt that he would be treated otherwise.
“Everyone who appears in court or any tribunal, must have confidence in the person presiding over their matter. They must not be left with any lingering doubt that a judge will have anything against them or will not be impartial. But in this case, you have a retired judge who is a member of Corruption Watch. Corruption Watch has been on a campaign to have Moyane removed from Sars,” he said.
Mbauza also denied that Moyane’s constant demands about the inquiry were part of his plan to delay proceedings, he said his client has always wanted a fair hearing as long as Ramaphosa appointed a judge that would be impartial.
“Corruption Watch has issued statements saying that Moynae must be arrested. There is no doubt that the judge, herself, identifies with and supports those statements, because she is a member of the board. Moyane has always insisted that he wants a fair process. He is ready to attend a hearing/inquiry should the President appoint a judge that he believes is fair,” said Mabuza.
Earlier this week, Moyane had written to Ramaphosa demanding that he be allowed to strike a deal with the state to fund his legal bills.
The President refused his request along with the request to alter the terms of the inquiry so that oral arguments be permitted, instead of it being paper based as announced by the Presidency.
Ramaphosa placed Moyane on suspension in March. In a meeting days before he was suspended, Ramaphosa had asked Moyane to resign and offered him a paid settlement - but he refused.
In placing him on suspension, Ramaphosa said it was in the best interest of Sars and protecting its integrity.
The suspended commissioner was then served with disciplinary charges and a notice that he will face a disciplinary inquiry into his conduct.
Moynae faces 12 charges that include; misconduct in violation of his duties and responsibilities in terms of the Sars Act, Finance Management Act and the Sars code of conduct.