Moyane maintains he did not open case against Gordhan

14 September 2017 - 09:36 By Kyle Cowan
Pravin Gordhan. File photo
Pravin Gordhan. File photo
Image: Sunday Times

Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Tom Moyane has again denied laying charges against former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

In court papers filed in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday‚ SARS official Vlok Symington attached documents showing that Moyane opened a case at Brooklyn Police Station – CAS 427/5/16.

This same docket was later used to bring fraud charges against Gordhan‚ relating to the early retirement payout of former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

The charges were later withdrawn by the NPA when it emerged that Symington had authored a legal memo in 2009 confirming the early retirement of Pillay was above board.

While Moyane’s denial is technically correct‚ as he did not give police any names but rather asked for an investigation as he believed some crime was committed‚ the docket was later used in political battles‚ bringing into question why Moyane has not publicly clarified his exact intentions in opening the Brooklyn case.

Symington has approached the courts for an urgent interdict to halt disciplinary proceedings against him‚ after an investigation by a law firm into a "hostage drama" in a SARS boardroom when Symington was held against his will by members of the Hawks and a bodyguard of Moyane’s‚ Thabo Titi.

The events have led to explosive allegations in court papers.

In a confirmatory affidavit attached to SARS' answering affidavit in the application‚ Commissioner Moyane states: "I did not lodge any criminal complaint against Mr Gordhan as alleged by the applicant."

In Symington's replying affidavit also filed on Tuesday‚ he states the following: "I allege in my founding affidavit that Moyane‚ in his capacity as Commissioner‚ laid a criminal complaint against inter alia Gordhan et al during 2015."

Symington then cites a news conference by then Police Minister Nathi Nhleko where Nhleko confirms the complainant in the fraud case against Gordhan is Commissioner Moyane‚ as well as a statement issued by the NPA confirming the same. The commissioner opened CAS 427/5/2015 at Brooklyn Police Station - the same CAS used to charge Gordhan‚ the same case number also being used in the broader investigation into the so called-rogue unit.

Symington's affidavit then states: "Moyane's denial that he is the complainant in the case against Gordhan et al is therefore not credible‚ and casts doubt on the veracity and truthfulness of SARS' version as a whole."

Moyane was asked on Wednesday if it was his intention when opening the case that Gordhan would eventually be charged in relation to the rogue unit drama‚ as he was ultimately accountable for the decision to initiate the specialised investigative unit that would later be dubbed the “rogue unit”’.

Moyane declined to respond‚ saying that the Symington matter was before court and‚ as such‚ he could not comment.

"SARS has previously made it clear and wishes to reiterate that Commissioner Tom Moyane did not open a case against Mr. Pravin Gordhan. Matters relating to criminal prosecution are best referred to the relevant law enforcement agencies‚" SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said on Thursday.