Moy­ane ‘had no in­tegrity’ - Nu­gent re­port

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - DON MAKATILE [email protected]

WHILE his in­terim re­port was damn­ing on axed SA Rev­enue Ser­vices com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane, hav­ing rec­om­mended Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa fire him, re­tired judge Robert Nu­gent is even more mer­ci­less in the fi­nal ver­sion of his re­port.

Nu­gent chaired the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry Into Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion And Gov­er­nance By SARS, which probed at the af­fairs of the tax col­lec­tion agency from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2018.

This is the pe­riod dur­ing which Moy­ane was in charge.

If Moy­ane was aim­ing to do some read­ing over the fes­tive sea­son, Nu­gent’s re­port is not re­quired read­ing for him. It is likely to cause him fur­ther angst.

Nu­gent says: “What is clear from the ev­i­dence I have sum­marised is that Mr Moy­ane ar­rived at SARS with­out in­tegrity.”

From then on he finds noth­ing re­deemable about the con­duct of Moy­ane, who was ap­pointed by for­mer Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, re­port­edly his friend.

Nu­gent says of the pe­riod un­der re­view – on Moy­ane’s watch, that it was “over that pe­riod what was once an ad­mired in­sti­tu­tion be­came one that has evoked suf­fi­cient con­cern to war­rant a com­mis­sion of in­quiry. This is what SARS was then, and what it be­came”.

The ap­point­ment of Moy­ane was with ef­fect from Septem­ber 27, 2014.

“What has be­come clear is that what oc­curred at SARS was in­evitable the mo­ment Mr Moy­ane set foot in SARS. He ar­rived with­out in­tegrity and then dis­man­tled the el­e­ments of gov­er­nance one by one,” Nu­gent says in his fi­nal re­port.

“There are many el­e­ments to good gov­er­nance. Prin­ci­pally, in any or­gan­i­sa­tion, it is the over­sight role of se­nior man­age­ment struc­tures, that are able to put a brake on abuse of author­ity, but se­nior man­age­ment was driven out or marginalised at SARS, and we have seen no ev­i­dence that se­nior man­age­ment ap­pointed by Mr Moy­ane was any­thing but com­pli­ant.”

Moy­ane was con­spic­u­ous by his ab­sence be­fore Nu­gent: “The for­mer Com­mis­sioner of SARS, Mr Moy­ane, kept away from the Com­mis­sion from in­cep­tion, ap­pear­ing on one oc­ca­sion only, and then only to dis­par­age and at­tempt to de­rail the in­quiry, which has con­tin­ued re­lent­lessly since then.

“It is clear that Mr Moy­ane does not have, and never has had, any in­ten­tion of ac­count­ing for what oc­curred dur­ing his ten­ure at SARS, or of con­fronting the ev­i­dence the Com­mis­sion has re­ceived.”

“Mr Moy­ane was per­ti­nently no­ti­fied each time pub­lic hear­ings were held, but nei­ther he nor any rep­re­sen­ta­tive on his be­half was ever present, ex­cept on the oc­ca­sion I have men­tioned.

“In­deed, on that oc­ca­sion, he protested at ev­i­dence be­ing heard in his ab­sence, but then left the hear­ing be­fore the next wit­ness was called. He was per­ti­nently asked whether he wished to re­spond to ev­i­dence that had been given in pub­lic, much of which was damn­ing of his man­age­ment of SARS, but he de­clined.”

Aided and abet­ted by the top brass, Moy­ane changed the good for the bad at the rev­enue col­lec­tor, Nu­gent says: “The hall­mark of good gov­er­nance in an in­sti­tu­tion is the ex­is­tence of a cul­ture of healthy dis­sent. Mr Moy­ane sub­sti­tuted in­stead a cul­ture of fear and in­tim­i­da­tion.”

Nu­gent notes that “re­la­tions be­tween the Com­mis­sioner of SARS and other state in­sti­tu­tions – the Na­tional Trea­sury, the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral, the Davis Tax Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre – are icy, if there is any re­la­tion­ship at all, and SARS has lost its for­mer high sta­tus amongst in­ter­na­tional bod­ies”.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE

BIG wave surfer Se­bas­tian Steudt­ner of Ger­many races down a large wave off Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Por­tu­gal yes­ter­day. Reuters

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