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Moyane: No regrets over 'rogue unit' probe

Aug 09 2019 14:57
Lameez Omarjee, Fin24

Axed SARS boss Tom Moyane has said he does not regret investigations into the "rogue unit" and its activities.

From his official Twitter account, Moyane on Tuesday tweeted that he knew he would come under fire for his decision to ensure an investigation into the "rogue unit". He encouraged others who, in his words, are similarly "under attack", to "be strong". 

President Cyril Ramaphosa fired Moyane in November 2018, on the recommendations of an inquiry into SARS, led by Judge Robert Nugent last year. Nugent found that under Moyane's leadership, the revenue service deteriorated as he "dismantled the elements of governance, one by one," Fin24 previously reported.

Moyane attempted to have the commission's work halted, and though he was invited to make written submissions to the inquiry, he did not do so, Nugent said in an interim report released in October last year.

In his tweeted statements on the 'rogue unit', Moyane has not acknowledged the commission's comments on the unit.

Allegations regarding the rogue unit were not the primary focus of the inquiry. However, Nugent did make a few comments on it in the inquiry's final report, saying he did not find evidence that the creation and existence of the unit was unlawful.

On Tuesday evening, Moyane tweeted: "I knew by ensuring that all tax cases are investigated despite who is involved, the rogue unit & all its activities & also by radically transforming SARS staff, I was upsetting the system & it will viciously come for me. Thus y I bear no regrets. To those under attack, be strong (sic)."

This follows a tweeted statement on Sunday in which Moyane said he disbanded the "rogue unit" on the recommendation of the Adv Sikhakhane Panel, which investigated allegations regarding the unit.

He said that it was "rather [...] ridiculous" to suggest the rogue unit was involved in combating illicit financial flows, as has been reported in media.

"The rogue unit consisted of members who were all trained and skilled in covert/spying intelligence.

"At best, the unit specialised in following or spying on traders, citizens, taxpayer, current and former SARS employees whose acts were found to be illegal as per seven independent investigations stated previously," Moyane said.

Moyane has previously relied on the findings of other investigators including SARS' Advisory Board, the Sikhakhane panel and the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, which have said that the unit was illegally established by SARS and conducted illegal activities such as spying on citizens.

Meanwhile, a high court judge has interdicted a remedial action by Public Protector Mkhwebane against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, regarding the unit. Mkhwebane released a report earlier in July in which she found the rogue unit was unlawfully established and conducted illegal activities. The report is yet to undergo a court review.  

sars  |  tom moyane  |  rogue unit
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