Tom Moy­ane and the Zuma play­book

The fight be­tween SA’S tax boss and Cyril Ramaphosa is headed to court — and may drag on for some time

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS - Ray Hart­ley hart­leyr@ti­soblack­star.co.za

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s clash with SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane has en­tered its next phase, with the re­lease of a charge sheet against the tax boss.

First, a re­cap: Moy­ane’s for­mer deputy, Jonas Mak­wakwa, ex­e­cuted what Busi­ness Day eu­phemisti­cally termed “un­usual and sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tions” in his per­sonal bank ac­count. These were dis­cov­ered by the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre and Mak­wakwa was sus­pended — but only af­ter me­dia re­ports ex­posed

Sars’s in­ac­tion on the mat­ter.

Moy­ane’s re­sponse to this griev­ous abuse of of­fice was that of a snail on Val­ium. In­stead of vig­or­ously ex­pos­ing and stamp­ing out Mak­wakwa’s be­hav­iour, Moy­ane al­lowed him to re­turn to Sars, where he was free to carry on with his un­ortho­dox, if en­rich­ing, in­ter­pre­ta­tion of tax col­lec­tion.

Ramaphosa in­di­cated in March that he had lost con­fi­dence in Moy­ane. Mak­wakwa had mean­while re­signed when it was re­vealed that a Sars ser­vice provider was among the com­pa­nies con­duct­ing the “un­usual and sus­pi­cious” pay­ments into his per­sonal ac­count.

The charges against the Sars com­mis­sioner are that he is guilty of mis­con­duct linked to the Mak­wakwa al­le­ga­tions, that he made unau­tho­rised bonus pay­ments, mis­led par­lia­ment and in­structed a Sars of­fi­cial not to co-op­er­ate with an in­quiry.

In the fine tra­di­tion of Ja­cob Zuma (the for­mer pres­i­dent, for those of you who have for­got­ten), Moy­ane plans to go to court to chal­lenge the in­quiry.

If he sticks to the Zuma script, he could drag this out for years as the high court, then the con­sti­tu­tional court, weigh in — with mul­ti­ple pro­ce­dural ap­peals along the way. All this le­gal fil­i­bus­ter­ing will, of course, be funded by the tax­payer.

Dur­ing these many years of lit­i­ga­tion, Moy­ane will be free to play golf, line up busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and draw his full salary.

I have no ev­i­dence that he plays golf or that he lines up busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, but he would be fool­ish not to, no?

There is the out­side chance that, by the time the mat­ter fi­nally makes it to the dis­ci­plinary hear­ing in sev­eral years’ time, the ANC regime will have changed again and a more for­giv­ing pres­i­dent might quash the whole thing. That’s jus­tice, SA style.

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