Just days after damning findings against him by the Nugent Commission of Inquiry, axed South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane has questioned what he has done wrong in an appeal against his dismissal, to the Constitutional Court.
“Apart from having been appointed by former President (Jacob) Zuma and being hated by the media and others, what wrong has Mr Moyane actually done to deserve being stripped of all constitutional rights… including his rights to dignity and reputation?” Moyane’s affidavit reads.
His legal team filed the court papers on Thursday at the apex court. The North Gauteng High Court on December 11 upheld his dismissal, ruled a permanent commissioner could be appointed to SARS and gave the green light for the release of the final Nugent report.
In his affidavit to the Constitutional Court, Moyane argued that Judge Hans Fabricius erred in finding he had no legal interest in the final recommendations being handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday.
“As expected and feared by the applicant and contrary to the learned judge’s finding that the final report did not concern him, it has turned out that the final report is all about him,” Moyane notes.
Retired Judge Robert Nugent’s report was scathing of Moyane, noting that “he arrived without integrity and then dismantled the elements of governance one by one”.
“We think what occurred can fairly be described as a premeditated offensive against SARS, strategised by the local office of Bain & Company Inc ... for Mr Moyane to seize SARS, each in pursuit of their own interests that were symbiotic, but not altogether the same,” the Nugent report reads.
Moyane could also face criminal charges as Nugent recommended the National Director of Public Prosecutions consider charging anyone involved in the awarding of the SARS contract to international advisory firm Bain & Co.
‘Intense media campaign’
Moyane’s affidavit claims that an ‘intense media campaign’ was mounted against him and attached by way of an example of this, a tweet by a journalist Pauli van Wyk from online publication, The Daily Maverick. He states that she claimed to have “single-handedly” written 47 articles which “are the cause of his dismissal and the establishment of the SARS commission”.
He further argues that even his fiercest critics, such as Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Nugent have only ever accused him, at worst, of “bad leadership” and of course being “cheeky” (which in the South African idiom is a euphemism for one who does not know his or her place in the social pecking order)”.
Moyane requests Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng exercise his discretion and allow an expedited hearing saying it will be in the public interest to have the matter finalised. The apex court previously dismissed his application on November 21 telling him to turn to the lower courts first. Moyane in his latest court papers argues however that these are complex constitutional matters which is likely to end up in court in due time as they involve the president and a senior official.
Ramaphosa fire Moyane on November 1, following a recommendation in the interim Nugent report that he be removed to allow for a clean-up at the revenue agency.