Suspended South Africans Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane is fighting to get his job back if found not guilty by the Nugent inquiry.
BELEAGUERED SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane’s legal team is fighting for him to get his job back, if he is cleared by the Nugent inquiry which is probing his fitness to run the crucial public institution.

This assertion was made by Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza yesterday.

The embattled and suspended Moyane’s lawyer was addressing journalists at a media conference in Johannesburg.

“If Mr Moyane is found not guilty, it would be unfair for him not to go back to Sars (as commissioner),” Mabuza said.

“He (Moyane) must go back to Sars and serve the nation; he is willing to serve,” Mabuza added.

Mabuza, who represents Moyane at both the Sars commission of inquiry and in his disciplinary hearing, also said he welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response to their list of demands.

The attorney wrote to Ramaphosa last week arguing against what he called “the gross unfairness of being simultaneously subjected to both processes”, which they believe to be the same or largely overlapping.

This relates to the inquiry Ramaphosa gazetted in May to probe governance problems at Sars, as well as the disciplinary hearing the president announced in March, after suspending Moyane for an alleged “deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised”.

Moyane’s disciplinary hearing is expected to hear oral submissions and will be chaired by advocate Azhar Bham, SC.

The inquiry is chaired by retired Judge Robert Nugent and expected to produce an interim report in September.

The final outcome was expected to be made public in November.

In his letter to Ramaphosa, Mabuza said the simultaneous inquiries were “unfair and irrational”.

Moyane’s legal team demanded that the president disband or stay one or both inquiries.

They also wanted Professor Michael Katz, who is Ramaphosa’s personal attorney, removed as one of Nugent’s assistants in the inquiry. State attorney AGF Mokgale, on behalf of Ramaphosa, responded to Mabuza on Friday.

He wrote that the president understood that Moyane’s disciplinary hearing was scheduled for later this month, when Mabuza’s objection would be argued and decided upon.

In respect of the demands related to the commission of inquiry, Mokgale said there were no hearings scheduled until August - therefore there could be no prejudice to Moyane should advocate Bham’s hearing be awaited.

“In the circumstances, the president will give his answer to the list of demands made in your letter once he has had the benefit of the consideration of the ruling of advocate Bham in relation to the matter,” Mokgale said in his letter to Mabuza.

Mabuza said he welcomed these responses and stressed that Moyane should return to the helm of Sars, if he is acquitted at both investigations.

He added that Moyane had every right to request taxpayers to pay his legal fees; a request which has been denied by the president.

“He (Moyane) is funding himself; he’s still standing

“Maybe in due course the issue will arise again.

“But as things stand he is funding himself,” Mabuza pointed out.