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Ramaphosa hits back at Moyane, says his ConCourt application is 'moot'

Nov 02 2018 16:26
Carin Smith, Fin24

The relief former SA Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane wants from the Constitutional Court "has been rendered moot" by President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to fire him.

That's according to Ramaphosa's court documents to the Constitutional Court on Friday. Moyane was fired on Thursday.

Moyane is putting his last hope on the Constitutional Court to overturn Ramaphosa's decision to fire him, claiming that it was "unlawful".

In his affidavit, Ramaphosa claims that Moyane has not raised any valid basis in law for him (Ramaphosa) to "disestablish" either the disciplinary inquiry against Moyane or the Nugent Commission into SARS.

"National interest demanded that both inquiries proceed and reach finality as a matter of urgency," states Ramaphosa.

Moyane brought the ConCourt application against Ramaphosa as first respondent as well as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Judge Robet Nugent, Advocate Azhar Bham SC, professor Michael Katz, Advocate Mabongi Masilo and Vuyo Kahla.

Ramaphosa says in essence Moyane wants the ConCourt to set aside his (Ramaphosa's) refusal to halt a disciplinary inquiry by Bham against Moyane on four specific charges of misconduct; or not to have halted the Nugent Inquiry into the administration and governance at SARS.

Moyane is also challenging Ramaphosa's refusal to set aside the appointment of Katz as a member of the Nugent Commission. Moyane objects to Katz being a member of the commission due to an alleged "close personal relationship and association" with Ramaphosa.

Moyane furthermore wants the ConCourt to order Ramaphosa to halt either the disciplinary inquiry or the Nugent Commission. Moyane also wants the ConCourt to declare that the participation of Gordhan in either of the inquiries is unlawful.

Lastly, Moyane wants the rulings made by Nugent and Bham made in their respective inquiries to be set aside.

In Moyane's view, it was grossly unfair for him to be subjected to two processes when the subject matter was the same and overlapping.

Ramaphosa submits that both processes of the inquiries are fair in terms of the law and that there is no prejudice against Moyane. According to Ramaphosa the claim about Katz "lacks merit and legal validity".

In addition, Ramaphosa argues that Moyane has failed to demonstrate that the relief he is seeking falls withing the exclusive jurisdiction of the ConCourt.

"There is no compelling reason why Mr Moyane should not approach a court in the ordinary course in order to pursue the relief sought," Ramaphosa says.

Earlier in October, Moyane successfully brought an application before Bham to postpone his disciplinary hearing until the ConCourt matter is finalised.

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