/ 4 December 2018

Moyane in court in bid to have dismissal overturned

Big mistake: Sars commissioner Tom Moyane was seemingly responsible for revealing a damning email in which Sars’s lawyer said he could not be involved in the Gordhan case for ethical reasons.
The inquiry is investigating tax administration and governance problems at Sars between April 2014 and March 2018, when Tom Moyane was commissioner. He has been suspended. (David Harrison/M&G)

Fired South African Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane returns to court on Tuesday in his latest legal battle to get his job back.

His urgent application, to be heard in the Pretoria high court in Pretoria, will see him argue that his dismissal by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which was based on the recommendations of the interim report of Nugent Commission of Inquiry, was unfair and unconstitutional.

“The recommendations are irrational and invalid for the primary reason that the issue of the individual employment contract of the applicant does fall within the ambit of the subject matter envisaged in the terms of reference,” he said.

Last month Moyane failed in his Constitutional Court bid to have the country’s highest court hear the matter after he had sought direct access.

READ MORE: Moyane to fight on, despite ConCourt dismissal

In the application, Moyane lists President Cyril Ramaphosa, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Judge Robert Nugent, the head of the Sars inquiry as some of the eight respondents.

Nugent is opposing the application.

Moyane also wants to find out if the Sars commission, which heard evidence from past and present employees, exceeded its authority in recommending that he be fired.

Moyane was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma as head of the revenue service in September 2014 on a five-year contract. Since his suspension by Ramaphosa in March, the former commissioner of correctional services has waged a relentless fight to have the legal processes against him halted, including a disciplinary hearing which is headed by Advocate Azhar Bham.

The disciplinary process is currently on hold, but his unhappiness over the process forms part of his submission. He has argued that the two inquiries expose him to “double jeopardy” and that there is “undeniable overlap between the issues intended to be covered by the two commissions.”

The hearing is set down for two days. — Fin24