24/04/2018 08:01 SAST | Updated 24/04/2018 09:11 SAST

Disciplinary Steps Go Ahead As Moyane's Settlement Talks With Sars Fall Flat

Three attempts to settle with Tom Moyane have reportedly failed.

Tom Moyane.
Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander
Tom Moyane.

Settlement talks between suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane and Sars have reportedly failed, and a disciplinary process against him is set to get underway, Business Day reported on Tuesday.

Moyane was suspended last month under the instruction of President Cyril Ramaphosa, reportedly because of the way he handled allegations against his former number two, Jonas Makwakwa, and his alleged handling of tax refunds to the Guptas.

According to Business Day, before he was suspended, Moyane had turned down two settlement offers. He reportedly tried to counter a third offer with his own conditions, which were rejected by Ramaphosa.

This reportedly included that Ramaphosa should hold a media briefing, to which Moyane would be invited, announcing that they were parting ways amicably. Moyane reportedly wanted Ramaphosa to publicly say that he had run Sars with "leadership and integrity", but Ramaphosa refused.

National Treasury has reportedly been instructed to formulate the charges against Moyane. Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko told Business Day that while the presidency could not comment on its engagements with Moyane, "we can, however, confirm that engagements have taken place and we have been unable to reach a mutually acceptable solution. The disciplinary process will commence shortly".

News24 reported that Moyane was suspended on March 19 pending the issuing of disciplinary charges against him.

The presidency said at the time: "Developments at Sars under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised. For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen."

HuffPost reported in March that Moyane had enlisted the services of top senior counsel William Mokhari to fight his suspension.

"I have been approached by Mr Moyane's attorney and asked to prepare an opinion in this regard. No decisions have been taken yet and we haven't filed any papers," Mokhari told HuffPost at the time.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Ramaphosa also said at the time that Moyane's failure to acknowledge his "failures" had contributed towards the decision to suspend him.

"These are not ordinary circumstances. Protecting the Sars and by corollary, the public interest must be my primary concern. As commissioner of the Sars, you hold a high position of trust in the management of our public finances. The disrepute in which you have brought the Sars and the government as a whole and the risk of the national Revenue Fund are enormous.

"You have not been willing to acknowledge your failures or the magnitude of the consequences of your action.

"I, therefore, have no choice, in the public interest, but to refuse to make the undertaking you ask of me in your letter of 19 March 2018. I wish to inform you that I hereby suspend you as Commissioner of Sars with immediate effect pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings against you," Ramaphosa said.