Former SA Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane is continuing with his Constitutional Court application in which he disputes the lawfulness of the establishment of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into SARS.
This is despite President Cyril Ramaphosa having fired Moyane on Thursday afternoon.
“We have received the announcement of President Ramaphosa stating that he is following the advice of Robert Nugent and his assistants including Michael Katz to terminate the employment contract of commissioner Moyane,” Moyane’s attorney Eric Mabuza said in a statement on Thursday evening.
“This matter is inextricably linked with the ongoing Constitutional Court application in which, among other things, the lawfulness of the establishment of the SARS Commission, the conduct of Nugent and the appointment of Katz are just some of the issues which are currently before the Constitutional Court.”
According to the statement Friday November 2, 2018 is the deadline for Ramaphosa, Nugent and others to file their answering affidavits.
“Once these are received, we will convene a consultation with commissioner Moyane to decide on the next steps in dealing with all the relevant violations of the Constitution by President Ramaphosa and his appointees and related ongoing and contemplated litigation,” the statement concludes.
The representations submitted by Moyane in response to the recommendations of the Nugent Commission failed entirely to deal with the substantive issues the report raised, in Ramaphosa’s view.
“The interim report makes clear that there is considerable evidence, which the SARS Commission gathered, indicating that in order to resolve the challenges at SARS, it would be best to terminate your services,” he said.
The Nugent Commission recommended that Ramaphosa fire Moyane in its interim report.
In a document Moyane had submitted to the Presidency earlier this week, it was stated that the Nugent Commission’s recommendation must be rejected “and cannot possibly be implemented following any proper application of the mind of any reasonable President appointed in terms of the Constitution”.
The document further argued that such a step would fall outside the terms of reference of the Commission; would be “irrational and self-contradictory” under the circumstances; and would be unfair from a constitutional perspective as well as “tainted with bias”.
Moyane submited that it boils down to “a thinly veiled-attempt to campaign for the permanent appointment of Mr Mark Kingon, who is the Acting Commissioner of SARS”.
He argued that the Nugent Commission does not include dealing with employment issues as that scope had been delegated by Ramaphosa to a disciplinary inquiry chaired by Advocate Azhar Bham SC – which is still ongoing.
The document stated that issues such as Moyane’s claims of bias on the part of the Commission “have been placed before the Constitutional Court for speedy determination”.