How Pravin Gordhan helped create the Tom Moyane ‘monster’

22 March 2018 - 06:33
Pravin Gordhan
Pravin Gordhan
Image: Sunday Times / John Liebenberg

The epic and long-running battle between Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane reached a climax this week when President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended the latter.

The two have been at each other’s throats since claims exploded of a “rogue spy unit” operating at the revenue service and Moyane initiated investigations against Gordhan and former SARS officials.

Gordhan tried in vain to have Moyane booted out when he was reappointed finance minister but could not do so because he was under the protection of former president Jacob Zuma.

It turns out that the way Moyane was appointed in September 2014 and the difficulty to remove him from his position is actually Gordhan’s doing.

In 2002, Gordhan had the South African Revenue Service Act amended to change the way the SARS commissioner is appointed. Gordhan was SARS commissioner at the time.

The original SARS Act gave the minister of finance the power to appoint the commissioner. It also said that the minister must consult the cabinet and an advisory board before appointing a person as commissioner.

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