Moyane lawyer slams president for failing to abide by deadlines

Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane in Parliament on Tuesday. (Photo: Jan Gerber, News24)
Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane in Parliament on Tuesday. (Photo: Jan Gerber, News24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers are five days late in filing an affidavit to substantiate a case against Tom Moyane, suspended commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). 

This is according to a letter written to the State Attorney on Tuesday, by Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza. 

According to Mabuza, at a meeting with the chairperson of the inquiry Advocate Azhar Bham on June 1, the president’s lawyers Barnes and Millard proposed to deliver the affidavit on June 8. 

“It is now 5 days since the expiry of that self-imposed deadline and the president has failed to deliver on his undertaking. 

“We have not even been granted the usual and expected courtesy of a formal letter either explaining the delay or requesting an extension, or both,” the letter read. 

“Such behaviour is extremely unacceptable, unprofessional and discourteous both towards our client and the chairperson of the inquiry.”

Mabuza raised concern that the delay is becoming “intolerable and costly”. He implored the State attorney to “impress upon the president” that the matter must be treated with urgency in the public interest and even the interest of the SA economy. 

Mabuza also suggested that it would be “extremely unreasonable” to expect Moyane to comply with an agreed timetable, when Ramaphosa’s lawyers who proposed it, had themselves failed to comply with it. 

“We await your urgent response to this letter and/or the urgent delivery of the promised  documentation,” Mabuza concluded. 

The lead up to Moyane’s disciplinary inquiry has been plagued with several issues. 

Moyane had first challenged the fairness of the process, and picked on technical aspects of the inquiry such as that evidence would be submitted in writing. Moyane, who is facing 12 charges of misconduct, wanted to make oral presentations instead. 

According to the disciplinary hearing’s terms of reference, oral evidence would be heard only at the panel chair’s discretion, Fin24 previously reported.

Moyane had also demanded that the State cover his legal costs.

His legal team had also taken issue with retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O'Regan, who was initially named chair of the inquiry. Moyane’s lawyers had flagged a O'Regan's conflict of interest because of her role in Corruption Watch. 

The president then appointed Bham as the presiding officer of the inquiry.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko previously defended the disciplinary process as being fair and procedurally correct.

Diko was not immediately available to comment on new developments on the matter, after Fin24 attempted to reach her.  

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