Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma’s affidavit to the Constitutional Court will have little weight against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to fire Tom Moyane as Sars commissioner, according to constitutional law experts.
Both Lawson Naidoo and Shadrack Gutto said Judge Robert Nugent, chairperson of the commission of inquiry into Sars, was within his rights to make a recommendation on Moyane’s suitability to head Sars - even before completing his investigation.
Zuma on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Constitutional Court where he challenged Judge Nugent’s recommendation that Ramaphosa should fire Moyane.
Moyane had turned to the court to force Ramaphosa to reverse his decision to fire him based on Judge Nugent’s recommendations.
Naidoo, executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, said he did not think Zuma’s affidavit would have much significance in the case.
“If in the opinion of the judge there are individuals hampering the administration of the tax authority, surely it is in the ambit of the commission to reflect on that, therefore I don’t believe the judge overstepped his mark.
“I think the recommendation he made was in line with his mandate after looking at the Sars administration and identifying weaknesses and solutions,” said Naidoo.
In the affidavit, Zuma said the Sars commission’s terms of reference, which he drafted before he resigned, did not call on the commission to make recommendations before completing its investigation.
He also said he had not asked the commission to “deal with employment contracts of individual employees. The Sars commission has deviated to its original intended purposes,” the affidavit read.
Zuma said he had been approached by Moyane’s legal team to provide an input with regard to Moyane’s case.
Gutto agreed with Naidoo, describing Zuma’s affidavit as insignificant.
“It (the Sars commission) can make recommendations given the evidence it had gathered,” he said.
Attempts to get comment from Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza were unsuccessful.