Moyane ‘pleased’ with Ramaphosa’s response to his demands - but won’t spill the beans on what was said

06 July 2018 - 19:29 By Karyn Maughan
Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's statement did not reveal exactly what Ramaphosa’s response was.
Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's statement did not reveal exactly what Ramaphosa’s response was.
Image: Esa Alexander

Lawyers for suspended South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane claimed on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to demands that he stop one of the two inquiries into tax administration and his alleged misconduct – and that they are “pleased” with that response.

But‚ in a statement‚ they declined to reveal exactly what Ramaphosa’s response was.

However‚ TimesLIVE has been told that‚ in essence‚ the letter said that Moyane would be able to raise all of his objections at his misconduct hearing.

Presidency spokeswoman Khusela Diko on Friday night confirmed that Ramaphosa had responded to Moyane’s demands.

“In essence what we are saying is that we would wish to hear the views of Adv Azar Bham on the matter at the [misconduct inquiry] hearing. There are no Nugent hearings scheduled before that so they [Moyane and his lawyers] can’t be prejudiced in the meantime‚” she said.

Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza said: “We are pleased with the president’s response‚ We will obviously be consulting with Mr Moyane regarding the contents of the president’s letter and his full reaction will be communicated in a day or so.”

Earlier this week Moyane’s lawyers wrote to Ramaphosa expressing the suspended SARS boss’s objection to the Nugent inquiry into tax administration being conducted at the same time as Moyane was due to face misconduct charges.

“Our client has sharply raised in both proceedings the gross unfairness of being simultaneously subjected to both processes when the subject matter enquired into‚ as it pertains to him‚ is substantially the same and/or largely overlapping‚” Mabuza wrote to Ramaphosa.

The letter was sent just hours after retired Judge Robert Nugent dismissed this same argument about his inquiry into tax administration. In a scathing ruling‚ the judge dismissed all five of the objections made by Moyane’s advocate‚ Dali Mpofu - describing his submissions as a “disgrace” and “abusive”.

Moyane’s objections to the Nugent Inquiry also includes a demand that the president remove Professor Michael Katz – who Moyane’s legal team have described as Ramaphosa’s personal lawyer – as an advisor to the inquiry.

Moyane’s lawyers gave Ramaphosa until Friday afternoon to respond to these demands‚ or face court action.

Nugent‚ meanwhile‚ has made it clear that he intends to complete his inquiry by November.

As yet‚ it remains unclear when the misconduct inquiry against Moyane will get underway. He has yet to respond to the charges outlined against him by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ but has already repeatedly stated through his lawyers that he wants to address those allegations in oral evidence.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 9pm on July 6 2018 to reflect the response from The Presidency.