Court rules ‘abominable’ Moyane can’t have his job back

Tom Moyane, is seen during a press briefing held at the Sars offices where he disclosed to the media that SARS official, Jonas Makwakwa, had resigned with immediate effect, 14 March 2018, Pretoria. Photo: Jacques Nelles

The High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa is free to appoint a new SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner to replace Tom Moyane.

Moyane will not be getting his job or his salary back. He also won’t be able to stop the Nugent commission from handing in its final report on Sars to the president. The commission was found to be lawful and the decision to remove Moyane from his position was deemed rational.

Judge Hans Fabricius ruled that the public interest in this matter outweighed Moyane’s financial interests. He granted a punitive costs order against Moyane, finding his conduct “particularly reprehensible”, due to what was described as unwarranted attacks on Ramaphosa and Judge Robert Nugent, who chaired the inquiry into Moyane’s misconduct while in charge at Sars.

Moyane’s behaviour was “abominable” and he could not be protected under the mantle of protecting constitutional rights, the judge found.

The Nugent commission was tasked with probing governance and administration at Sars while Moyane was at the helm. Established in May, the commission recommended to Ramaphosa four months later that Moyane should be fired.

In his ruling, Nugent told Ramaphosa that Moyane had refused to cooperate with the commission despite numerous requests for him to do so.

Moyane wanted the court to block Ramaphosa from appointing a permanent Sars commissioner and to remain on suspension pending his disciplinary hearing.

Ilse de Lange / African News Agency (ANA) / The Citizen