ConCourt dismisses Tom Moyane application for leave to appeal his dismissal

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JOHANNESBURG, February 12 – The Constitutional Court on Tuesday, dismissed former South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane’s application for leave to appeal his dismissal.

“The Constitutional Court has considered this application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that the application should be dismissed as it bears no reasonable prospects of success,” the court said.

“The court has decided not to award costs.”

On November 26, the Constitutional Court dismissed Moyane’s application to review and set aside the decision to establish the Nugent Commission of Inquiry.

In its ruling at the time, the Constitutional Court said Moyane failed to establish grounds for the engagement of the court’s exclusive jurisdiction. The court said no basis was set out to permit direct access considering that he had other avenues available.

Moyane launched an appeal with the Constitutional Court after President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted recommendations made by the Nugent inquiry to fire him to restore stability at the struggling revenue collector.

In his appeal, Moyane was supported by former President Jacob Zuma who in an affidavit said that he never intended that the Sars commission of inquiry deal with employment issues or with employment contracts of individual employees.

The former Sars commissioner has denied any wrongdoing and hails himself as the most successful Sars commissioner in the democratic history of the country.

On November 1, Ramaphosa terminated, with immediate effect, Moyane’s appointment as Sars commissioner after the recommendation made by the Nugent commission that immediate action be taken to forestall any further deterioration of the country’s tax administration system.

In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said that the interim report from the Nugent Commission “paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of Sars and the reckless mismanagement which characterised your tenure as commissioner of Sars”.

“Of further, and in many ways greater, the concern is your refusal to meaningfully participate in the Sars commission in order to assist with identifying the root causes of the systemic failures at Sars and ways in which to arrest these,” he said at the time.

Ramaphosa said that the representations submitted by Moyane in response to the recommendations of the Nugent Commission failed “entirely to deal with the substantive issues the report raises”.

“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.

Ramaphosa appointed retired Judge Robert Nugent in June to chair the commission to probe allegations of financial misconduct at Sars, including that it led to a revenue collection shortfall of R50-billion between 2014 and 2018 under Moyane.

In the interim report released on October 16, Nugent said it was clear that Moyane had no intention of engaging the commission, confronting the evidence mounting against him or accounting for his conduct during his tenure.

– African News Agency (ANA)