Zondo commission: Tom Moyane reveals Jacob Zuma informed him about Sars top job
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Johannesburg - Former South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane has revealed how former president Jacob Zuma told him that he was the preferred candidate to head the tax authority.
This, Moyane said, Zuma told him in confidence about a year before he took up the position.
Moyane, who was giving evidence at the Commission of Inquiry into state capture on Wednesday, said he only shared this information with his wife.
He was appointed the Sars commissioner from September 2014 to October 2018.
He told the commission that in 2013, during a private meeting with the former president, Zuma told him that as long as the ANC won the general elections the following year and he returned for a second term of presidency, Moyane would clinch the top job.
In his testimony on Wednesday, Moyane also confessed to have no experience in taxation or running a revenue service but held the Commissioner position for four years. He told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was, however, an economist and he left previous institutes in good standing.
“I was able to meander my way through various sectors in South Africa. I was capable and my track record speaks for itself,” he said.
The commission’s evidence leader, advocate Alistair Franklin, referred to a report from the Nugent Commission into Sars that found Moyane unfit for office and reported on the breakdown of the tax authority since his appointment.
Shockingly, Moyane confessed that he did not personally read the 2018 report compiled by Judge Robert Nugent, despite being the Sars commissioner at that time.
“Are you saying to this commission that, as you sit here in 2021, you have not read the full and final report compiled by the Nugent Commission in 2018?” Franklin asked.
Zondo further probed Moyane’s shocking admission.
“I assumed you were intending to take the report to review or that you were, yourself, reviewing the report when you asked to cross-examine Gordhan,” Zondo said.
But, Monyane pointed out that when the report was finalised, he consulted with his counsel who gave him a summary of the report.
“I, myself, as Tom Moyane, have not read the report,” Moyane told Zondo.
He maintained he did a “sterling” job during his tenure.
Moyane strongly defended his decisions and management of Sars. He also denied any involvement in state capture or that he influenced Zuma to fire then finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
Moyane told the commission that Gordhan "spoke from gossip" and "he must not make his problems with former president (Jacob Zuma) my business".
He accused Gordhan of displaying "uncouth behaviour" towards him on numerous occasions.
"I have irrefutable proof that the man is a vile racist and condescending," Moyane said about Gordhan.
He also insisted there was a so-called rogue unit operating within the tax authority despite findings by the high court and other investigations discounting such accusations.
He said that members of the so-called rogue unit approached him with a detailed confession on how they spied on high-ranking people.
“Two of them submitted that there was a criminal path from which only death could save them. The confession was elaborate and detailed on how they bugged, intercepted, listened and video recorded activities of the National Prosecuting Authority office, leaders of the SAPS and Scorpions in Pretoria in a project code-named ‘Sunday Evening’,” Moyane said.
He alleged that these colleagues operated under the instruction of former Sars Deputy Commissioner Ivan Pillay “to collaborate with the conspiracy leaders leading the operation”. Moyane said R1 million was used for the operation.