Ramaphosa: Why I fired Moyane from SARS

Embattled former SARS boss Tom Moyane was fired over his refusal to "meaningfully participate" in the Nugent Commission's processes, as well as the "deeply concerning" picture painted of the tax agency in the interim report issued by the Commission, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.

In a statement issued by the Presidency on Thursday evening, Ramaphosa outlined the reasons for axing Moyane.

"President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Thursday, 1 November 2018, terminated, with immediate effect, the appointment of Mr Tom Moyane as Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS)," the statement said. "This follows the recommendation made by the SARS Commission chaired by Judge Robert Nugent that immediate action is needed to forestall any further deterioration of our tax administration system."

In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said the interim report of the Commission "paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of SARS and the reckless mismanagement which characterised your tenure as Commissioner of SARS".

The letter further says: "Of further, and in many ways greater, concern is your refusal to meaningfully participate in the SARS Commission in order to assist with identifying the root causes of the systemic failures at SARS and ways in which to arrest these."

The representations submitted by Moyane in response to the recommendations of the Nugent Commission failed entirely to deal with the substantive issues the report raised, Ramaphosa added.

"The interim report makes clear that there is considerable evidence, which the SARS Commission gathered, indicating that in order to resolve the challenges at SARS, it would be best to terminate your services," he said. 

Acting Commissioner for SARS Mark Kingon would remain in place until such time as the vacancy of National Commissioner is filled, the Presidency said.

Moyane has since indicated that the Constitutional Court matter he initiated is ongoing and that Friday is the deadline for Nugent and Ramaphosa to file answering affidavits. 

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