Moyane's SARS ultimatum to Ramaphosa

Lawyers acting for suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane have demanded in a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa that he halt or "disestablish" investigations into SARS, saying they expect his reply by Friday at 16:00.  

The letter comes a day after former Judge Robert Nugent, chair of the Ramaphosa-appointed commission of inquiry into governance at the tax agency, dismissed similar requests by Moyane's lawyers

"The document is a disgrace," said Nugent on Monday. 

In a letter addressed to the president, dated Monday July 2, Moyane's lawyers call for either the Nugent commission of inquiry, or Moyane's upcoming internal disciplinary hearing to be halted, saying they should not take place at the same time. 

"Our client has sharply raised in both proceedings, the gross unfairness of being simultaneously subjected to both processes when the subject matter enquired into, as it pertains to him, is substantially the same and/or largely overlapping," read the letter from Mabuza Attorneys. 

Moyane's legal team also wants Ramaphosa to dismiss Professor Michael Katz from his role as an assistant in the Nugent commission, saying the President and Katz had a "close personal relationship" and Katz had acted for Ramaphosa in the past. 

Fin24 could not immediately reach the spokesperson for President Ramaphosa. 

Nugent on Monday had dismissed a request to take Katz off the case. 

Moyane's lawyers said that, if the President did not reply by 16:00 on Friday, they would approach a higher court. 

'Abuse, invective and sinister suggestion'

Former Judge Nugent had been scathing in his reply to a similar letter of demand from Moyane's lawyers, saying on Monday that it was littered with "abuse, invective and sinister suggestion". 

In their letter to Ramaphosa, Moyane's legal team now referred to Nugent's dismissal of their demands as "The Nuremberg Defense", a reference to the trials of ex-Nazi leaders after the second World War. 

Moyane was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in September 2014, replacing acting commissioner at the time, Ivan Pillay.

He was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 19, 2018. According to the presidency the suspension was "in the interests of restoring credibility at SARS". Mark Kingon took over as acting commissioner of the tax collection agency. 

During the Nugent commission's first round of public hearing last week, Moyane was harshly criticised by former SARS employees and officials. As Fin24 reported, witnesses before the commission painted a picture of a tax revenue service that was operating well until Moyane’s arrival.

FULL LETTER: Tom Moyane Letter to President Ramaphosa

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