Moyane to approach ConCourt to seek stay of inquiry

Suspended South African Revenue Service (SARS) boss Tom Moyane intends to approach the Constitutional Court on Monday asking it to direct President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend or stay one or both of the tax agency's inquiries.

Moyane's lawyer Eric Mabuza confirmed to News24 that the papers were served to the respondents and will be filed in court on Monday.

The respondents in the matter include Ramaphosa, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Judge Robert Nugent, Advocate Azhar Bham SC, Professor Michael Katz, Advocate Mabongi Masilo and Vuyo Kahla.

In the notice of motion seen by News24, Moyane seeks an order "declaring the conduct and/or decisions of the first respondent (as captured in his letter dated 8 August 2018) to be unlawful, invalid, unconstitutional, in violation of the constitutional obligations of the President and/or in breach of his oath of office [and] setting aside the said conduct and/or decisions of the President".

The notice also asks for the court to declare the impugned involvement and participation of Gordhan in any one or both of the relevant inquiries to be "unlawful, irrational, and unconstitutional".

Advocate Dali Mpofu for Moyane previously questioned the legality of an affidavit deposed by Gordhan, accusing him of overstepping his authority and acting as a “biased individual”. Gordhan was SARS commissioner between 1999 and 2009.

Mpofu charged that Gordhan’s affidavit - which accused Moyane of "gross dereliction of duty" - was not worth the paper it was written on, as Gordhan had no authority over the tax service matters, Fin24 reported.

He also said it was “incompetent”, as it was based on a charge sheet.

The suspended tax agency head is facing four charges relating to misconduct and violation of his duties and responsibilities as SARS commissioner.

The disciplinary process chaired by Bham is separate from another probe, the Nugent Commission of Inquiry, which was appointed in the year by Ramaphosa to investigate tax administration and governance at SARS.

Moyane also wants the ruling which was delivered by Nugent on July 2 to have the inquiry continue, to be set aside. He also adds that Nugent's conduct and/or actions as contained in his letter dated September 7, 2018 "unlawfully threatening to recommend the removal of the applicant from office" should be set aside.

He also wants the court to review and set aside Bham's ruling to continue with the disciplinary hearing.

On March 19, Ramaphosa suspended Moyane as head of the tax agency after he refused to step down voluntarily.

The president said at the time in a letter he had “lost confidence in his ability to lead the South African Revenue Service".

He was later served with a notice of a disciplinary inquiry.

Ramaphosa wrote that SARS under Moyane's leadership had been marked by a "deterioration in public confidence".

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