'We insist on our right to fairness': Tom Moyane's fresh bid to cross-examine Pravin Gordhan

02 October 2019 - 12:32 By AMIL UMRAW
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Tom Moyane.
Tom Moyane.
Image: Esa Alexander

It was round two for embattled former revenue service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane's bid to cross-examine public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday.

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the commission, heard another legal to-and-fro between Moyane's legal representative, Dali Mpofu, and Gordhan's, Michelle le Roux. It pertained to another appeal for Moyane to be allowed to cross-examine Gordhan at the commission.

Mpofu first argued for cross-examination in March, but Zondo denied the application, saying Moyane did not clearly identify which parts of Gordhan's statement he disputed or denied.

However, Zondo asked for a clarificatory affidavit from Gordhan on claims he made when he testified at the commission in 2018.

It related to confusion about statements Gordhan made about Moyane, in which he said Moyane, in his capacity as Sars commissioner in 2016, laid charges against Gordhan relating to the early retirement of his predecessor, Ivan Pillay, and the establishment of what later became known as the Sars “rogue unit”.

These charges, Gordhan maintained, led to a political campaign against him.

The argument now before the commission is whether Gordhan was alleging that Moyane acted in malice when he brought the charges against Gordhan, therefore advancing state capture. In his clarificatory affidavit, Gordhan said: “I therefore do mean that Moyane was motivated wholly or in part that he sought to advance the process of state capture.” 

Mpofu said because Gordhan had claimed his client was acting in malice, Moyane should be allowed to cross-examine him.

"We insist on our right to fairness. Somebody cannot come here and say Moyane is a state capturer and that person is immunised [from cross-examination]," he said.  

Le Roux argued that Moyane's application was “trying to get you [Zondo] to undo what you have already ruled”. 

“You have already decided in your earlier ruling that it doesn’t assist the work of the commission to have Moyane’s legal team cross-examine my client ... Gordhan has only ever said that Moyane was the origin of what turned into a campaign.”

She asked that the application be dismissed and that Moyane testify before the commission.

Zondo reserved judgment.  

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