'Nothing provisional' about damning SARS interim report - Nugent

Judge Robert Nugent, who is heading a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South Africa Revenue Service, has for the first time spoken out about the interim report he produced.

The 30-page report, first handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa before being released to the public on Tuesday, made several recommendations, including that suspend SARS boss Tom Moyane be released from his position.

Speaking before the start of Thursday's proceedings at the commission, Nugent stressed that "there [was] nothing provisional about the report; it is an interim report" and that matters dealt with in the report were final.

The recommendations were conclusive, he added.

'Unanimous' that Moyane must go

Nugent, who is assisted by a three-member panel - Professor Michael Katz, Vuyo Kahla and Advocate Mabongi Masilo - said the decision that Moyane must go was unanimous.

Nugent made the remarks about the report before the start of the day's proceedings. He also lamented that the report - which was published on the Presidency website - was released without annexures.

He said he would request that the report's extensive annexures, which also show that Moyane was invited to make submissions before the commission, should be published as well.

The report shows that Moyane's attorney was asked on two occasions whether he wanted to "respond to evidence that has been given in public, much of which has been damning of his management" and was invited to meet with counsel for the commission. 

'No intention' to engage

"It is perfectly clear that Mr Moyane has no intention of engaging with the Commission or confronting the evidence that has been presented and has no intention of accounting for his tenure as Commissioner of SARS," reads the report.

"That is not the character of a person fit to lead a vital public institution."

Moyane who was appointed SARS commissioner in September 2014, and was suspended by Ramaphosa in March 2018. Ramaphosa cited a breakdown of trust in his running of the tax service.

Moyane is also facing a separate disciplinary inquiry, currently on hold, pending the outcome of the Nugent Commission. 

The Presidency issued a statement indicating that the president is "applying his mind" to the contents of Nugent's interim report, and the recommendations made by Nugent.

SARS Acting Commissioner, Mark Kingon, is due to give evidence on Friday.

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