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Moyane heads back to court to fight for his job

Dec 03 2018 19:14
Sibongile Khumalo

Former SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane will on Tuesday head to the High Court in Pretoria in an attempt to get his job back after his application to the Constitutional Court was dismissed.

Moyane, who was fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa after being suspended for several months, is attempting to have Ramaphosa's decision reversed, with the principal relief sought to restore the status quo before his dismissal.

The heads of argument for the urgent court application lash out at Ramaphosa's decision, which was based on a recommendation from the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South Africa Revenue Service.

There will also be three parties in the litigation, the document notes. In addition to Moyane and Ramaphosa, "Commissioner of the SARS Commission, Judge Robert Nugent, wearing his administrative and non-judicial cap, has elected to oppose the application and, in so doing, to file a full set of papers".

'Fatally tainted'

According to Moyane, Ramaphosa violated his rights and acted unfairly by rushing to fire him before his disciplinary process was concluded.

"The Constitution requires the president to exercise his powers rationally… the president in this matter has acted prematurely, unlawfully and irrationally by accepting and implementing the 'interim' recommendations".

He further says the commission is "fatally tainted by bias" and what he calls "flagrant disregard of Constitution norms".

The allegations of bias stem from the involvement of assistant commissioner Michael Katz, who has previously acted as Ramaphosa's lawyer. Moyane had objected to Katz's involvement.

Moyane is also facing a separate disciplinary process headed by Advocate Azhar Bham.

"The president has been seriously reckless and gross negligent in pursuing what he has done," Moyane says.

Disciplinary charges

On November 26, the Constitutional Court dismissed Moyane’s application to have the Nugent Commission of inquiry set aside, and his dismissal overturned. 

Moyane has also taken issue with what he calls an "unnecessarily hostile and combative attitude" by Nugent who is opposing the application.

Ramaphosa suspended the former tax services boss from his job in March, citing a "deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised" among several reasons for his ouster.

He was latter slapped with disciplinary charges, a process which he has fought hard to have set aside.

On November 1, Ramaphosa fired Moyane on recommendations of the Nugent Inquiry interim report. A final report is expected to be submitted by December 14.

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