The president has told the Constitutional Court he fired Moyane in a bid to restore faith in Sars, and prevent further catastrophe for the embattled South African economy.
“If the problems facing Sars are not addressed as a matter of urgency, there is a real risk of a further revenue shortfall in the current financial year, which would likely result in a further ratings downgrade by international rating agencies for the country. This would have potentially catastrophic consequences for SA’s fiscal sustainability and must, accordingly, be avoided at all costs,’’ Ramaphosa said in his affidavit to the Constitutional Court.
“The resolution of the problems currently facing Sars requires the installation of effective, credible and permanent leadership and cannot be achieved while charges of serious misconduct hang over the head of the suspended commissioner of Sars, a matter which in itself seriously undermines public confidence in the institution.”
Zuma’s evidence will be used by Moyane’s legal team to bolster their argument that the Nugent inquiry does not have the authority to make such recommendations, and therefore acted unlawfully.
The former president has stressed that the Sars commission is not mandated to deal with employment issues “especially where such contracts were already the specific focus of a separate presidentially-initiated process”.
Ramaphosa suspended Moyane in March and initiated an inquiry into misconduct charges against him, but following Moyane’s challenges to the Nugent inquiry it stalled, pending the outcome of Moyane’s cases against Ramaphosa.
Moyane maintains he is innocent of all the charges against him.