Former SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane testifies in Johannesburg before the Zondo Commission on May 26, 2021 (Photo: Gallo Images / Papi Morake)
Entering the Zondo Commission just days before its conclusion, former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane finally gave his side of the story which sees him accused of having presided over the evisceration of SARS. Moyane’s version: His work was “solid” and his disgrace was the result of the “jealous racism” of Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane never testified before the Nugent Commission set up to investigate the wrongdoing of the revenue collector. This commission would conclude at the end of 2018 that Moyane’s “reckless mismanagement” was the main cause of a “massive failure of integrity and governance in SARS”.
Indeed, Moyane seems to boast of having failed to provide a version of events to the contrary.
“For two years, Tom Moyane has remained silent,” he told the Zondo Commission on Wednesday.
During his silence, the majority of 64 witnesses from the Nugent Commission and other witnesses to the state capture investigation implicated Moyane in serious wrongdoing: colluding with Bain to hollow out SARS for his own ends and preside over to a flood of resignations of talented and capable. frames.
Today South Africa has finally received Moyane’s version of the story – which indeed takes place in a different universe. In Moyane’s version, he “played wonderfully” at the head of the fiscal body, and his dismissal was the result of a “well-orchestrated process” devised by Minister Pravin Gordhan.
In a prepared statement Moyane read at the start of his appearance at the inquest, he described himself as “appalled” by the attempt to portray him as a State Capture instrumentalist.
The former commissioner sketched out a relationship with Gordhan which he said was still acrimonious.
Gordhan, Moyane asserted, was “jealously blinded by his racist attitude towards me.”
Throughout his stay in Zondo’s hot seat, Moyane gave the impression of a man enlightened from deep within himself by a slowly burning fury. It was evidence leader Alistair Franklin who carried the brunt of Moyane’s anger, breathing new life into the concept of “hostile witness”.
A fairly typical exchange between the two:
Franklin: If the [Nugent] the commission notes in its report that it heard the testimonies of 64 witnesses, do you accept that or not?
Moyane: Why should I accept it, sir?
Franklin: Why don’t you do it?
Moyane: [turning to Judge Raymond Zondo] Mr. Chairman, I think I need your protection.
In one of Moyane’s most startling claims, he told the state capture investigation that he had never read the Nugent Commission report that resulted in his impeachment by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
When Franklin read him excerpts from the damning findings of the Nugent Report – including a description of Moyane as having “arrived without integrity” – Moyane dismissed them as “absurd.”
The Nugent report “does not understand the basics of management,” Moyane said, and should not be taken seriously.
When confronted with Bain’s statement that the consulting firm regretted its work with SARS, admitted that it had damaged morale and performance, and in retrospect suspected that Moyane had worked on a particular personal program, Moyane called this statement “unfortunate”.
“I don’t know why this would be considered a serious failure when the results are blatantly clear,” Moyane said.
He denied having pursued any political agenda.
“I was dealing with taxpayers; I was dealing with captains of industry… There was no time for politics in SARS, ”Moyane said.
Moyane admitted in an affidavit to the Zondo Commission that he had been informed by former President Jacob Zuma that Zuma intended to appoint Moyane as SARS commissioner long before this appointment was made public.
“You had no experience in taxation. You were against 120 odd candidates; one would suppose very deserving candidates. Do you know why the president chose you? Franklin asked.
Moyane replied that he attributed his selection to his university training as an economist and his background in the management of various government institutions, including printing houses and corrections.
Dealing with the exodus of skilled SARS workers under Moyane, Franklin pointed out that six senior executives left before a year had passed since Moyane’s tenure. The lawyer read a plan drawn up between Moyane and Vittorio Massone de Bain indicating before Moyane began SARS that it would be necessary to “neutralize” individuals who could hinder the “deep refresh” they sought to introduce.
Moyane denied that “neutralizing” had negative connotations in this context, despite evidence of the flow of employees leaving the institution. They left for personal reasons, Moyane said.
“You’re trying to throw mud to make it stick,” Moyane accused when Franklin accused him of plotting to kick these executives out.
Franklin asked why Moyane and Bain were strategizing to implement a “deep refresh” of SARS when the Revenue Collector was internationally recognized for its operation.
“The organization you were appointed to was world class,” Franklin suggested.
“That’s true, but that doesn’t mean there was no shortage in other areas that needed strengthening,” replied Moyane, who had previously described SARS as not being as “sacred” as everything. everyone thought so.
Moyane has also remained loyal to the most controversial feature of his SARS tenure: allegations of the existence of a “rogue unit” operating within the institution beyond the parameters of the law. These allegations have been exhaustively refuted and retracted.
Moyane said two former members of the rogue unit approached him in 2015 to admit their involvement in the illegal unit.
“I saw their equipment, I interacted with them,” Moyane said.
Franklin pointed out that in December 2020, the Gauteng High Court Plenary Chamber “unequivocally concluded that the Ombudsman’s conclusion that the so-called rogue unit was illegal was simply wrong.”
Further, Franklin said: “Every leg on which the rogue unit [narrative] rested “- like the original Sunday Times and the Sikhakhane report that followed – “has been either withdrawn or discredited”.
Under these circumstances, Franklin asked, how could Moyane still maintain his position on the thug unit?
Moyane was provocative. He hadn’t read the judgment, he said.
“As a commissioner, I was approached by members of this unit to tell me that they were doing things that were not the responsibility of a tax authority,” Moyane said.
“The rogue unit existed illegally.” DM
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This notice was published: 2021-05-26 20:44:32