16/05/2018 06:39 SAST | Updated 16/05/2018 10:00 SAST

Ramaphosa To Moyane: State Will Not Fund Your Legal Defence

Cyril Ramaphosa has denied a request by Tom Moyane for the state to pay his legal fees in his disciplinary inquiry.

The Times via Getty Images
Tom Moyane during his appearance before Parliament's finance committee on November 28, 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has refused a request by suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane for the state to pay his legal bills, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported. Moyane asked that the state cover his legal bills while he defends himself in a disciplinary inquiry.

Times Select reported on Tuesday that Moyane had written to Ramaphosa, who suspended him in March, giving him until midday yesterday to meet his demands or face him in court. Moyane reportedly wants Ramaphosa to agree to be called as a witness in his disciplinary and to ensure that the state covers his legal bills.

Moyane was suspended on a variety of charges, chiefly, his handling of the matter of his second-in-command, Jonas Makwakwa, and his handling of the Gupta VAT refund debacle.

EWN reported that in a letter from Ramaphosa's legal team to Moyane, the president is not giving in to his demands.

According to Daily Maverick, Moyane's letter to Ramaphosa initially stated, "It is patently unfair that the President should use taxpayers' money to prosecute his case‚ but the Commissioner‚ who collected the said taxpayers' money‚ should be expected to fend for himself using his own thanklessly and hard-earned income and family resources."

But Ramaphosa reportedly responded that Sars does not have a policy of funding legal representation for employees facing disciplinary inquiries.

"The proposal that the State should pay your client's legal expenses is accordingly refused," Ramaphosa's team reportedly said.

Moyane also reportedly wanted Ramaphosa to consider a multimillion-rand settlement agreement, which Ramaphosa has reportedly rejected.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is said to be reviewing its decision not to prosecute Moyane. According to News24, Corruption Watch reportedly asked the NPA whether it would bring a prosecution against Moyane following a "strong prima facie (case) of unlawful conduct...". The NPA reportedly responded that it is reviewing the issue.