SARS commisioner, Tom Moyane is compelling President Ramaphosa to pay him a multi-million rand settlement to walk away from his position including bonuses “due to him” for successfully collecting trillions of rand or get ready to fight.
Moyane was suspended following the nine-page charge sheet dated May 2‚ 2018‚ against him‚ revealing that he stands accused of “having committed misconduct in violation of your duties and responsibilities as Commissioner of SARS” in terms of the SARS Act‚ Public Finance Management Act‚ SARS Code of Conduct and the Constitution.
Moyane has made it clear that he believes his legal costs should be funded by the state.
“It is patently unfair that the President should use taxpayers’ money to prosecute his case‚ but the Commissioner‚ who collected the said taxpayers’ money‚ should be expected to fend for himself using his own thanklessly and hard-earned income and family resources‚” Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza wrote in a letter to the Presidency on May 7.
“This is not an issue which ought properly to be unilaterally imposed by the President when he is an adversary in the said proceedings. “In this regard‚ we propose that the parties should seek to find a fair dispensation through engagement and negotiations. For example‚ it may be agreed that the state pays for the Commissioner’s legal representation‚ subject to a refund if he is found guilty.”
Moyane’s lawyers have given Ramaphosa until noon on Tuesday to indicate whether his office will agree to discuss possible state funding of his legal fees. They also want him to withdraw inquiry rules that could see the process against Moyane decided solely on documentary evidence – with no witnesses‚ including Ramaphosa‚ being called to testify.
If they don’t get the answers they want‚ they’ve strongly suggested that they will try to go straight to the Constitutional Court‚ so that the issues they raise can be decided as soon as possible.
They argue that the “entire (Moyane disciplinary) process will be almost entirely centred around countless factual disputes” and it is therefore critical that witnesses be allowed to testify and face cross-examination.
They further stress that the inquiry against Moyane involves “a direct appointee of the President of the Republic and his personal conduct imposing the suspension and all related processes”.
“Were it to be left unchallenged‚ such conduct by the President would set a very dangerous and ominous precedent for labour relations in this country.”
Screengrab from the letter by Tom Moyane to preisdent Cyril Ramaphosa, courtesy of Sowetanlive,
According to Moyane’s lawyers‚ Ramaphosa initially offered the commissioner six months’ salary to resign‚ and later increased this to a year’s salary. According to SARS’ annual report‚ the commissioner’s annual salary is R3.665-million.
Moyane’s lawyers have reiterated his counter offer in this latest letter to the Presidency: being paid out in full for the 18 months that remain of his contract‚ any bonuses due to him over the past three years and a “jointly agreed public statement of the parties”.
Ramaphosa indicated that he had lost confidence in Moyane following a meeting with the tax boss at his private residence in March this year.
Mabuza has made it clear that Ramaphosa must be called to testify about that meeting.
“The President is central to the matter. He signed the charge sheet. He is in fact the only dramatis persona. It is he who allegedly ‘lost confidence’ in Mr Moyane. How else can it be determined if that decision is rational or not‚ following the conversation between the two of them? Ramaphosa must testify or Moyane must walk scot-free. It’s as simple as that.”
The charges against Moyane concern his handling of serious criminal allegations against his former second-in-command‚ Jonas Makwakwa‚ the “irregular” and unlawful payment of bonuses and allegations that he misled Parliament and told a SARS official not to cooperate with the so-called Rogue Unit investigation. Moyane’s lawyer says he will plead not guilty to all 12 charges.