NEWS
29/06/2018 06:10 SAST | Updated 29/06/2018 06:10 SAST

Tom Moyane To Make Surprise Appearance At Nugent Commission

In its first four days, the Nugent inquiry has heard testimony after testimony from former and current Sars employees about Moyane's conduct.

Tom Moyane arrives in Parliament on November 28, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. Moyane appeared before the committee to present the revenue service's annual report and to field questions about the suspension, investigation and reinstatement of Jonas Makwakwa.
The Times via Getty Images
Tom Moyane arrives in Parliament on November 28, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. Moyane appeared before the committee to present the revenue service's annual report and to field questions about the suspension, investigation and reinstatement of Jonas Makwakwa.

Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane is expected to make a surprise appearance at the Nugent commission of inquiry on Friday, despite not being formally invited to appear on that day.

His lawyer, Eric Mabuza, told TimesLive that Moyane was not invited by the commission or asked to consult with the commissioners, led by retired judge Robert Nugent, and that it was "nothing else but a witch hunt".

Mabuza reportedly said:

"That the Commission did not see the need to invite and consult with Commissioner Moyane should be concerning to anyone who is interested in the most basic notions of fairness and absence of bias.

"Of paramount and serious concern is the fact that both this and the parallel process chaired by Adv Bham SC (investigating misconduct allegations against Moyane) have ostensibly been appointed by the same President of South Africa to enquire into the same subject matters.

"The President has also unlawfully and grossly unfairly appointed his personal and business attorney as one of the members of the Commission of Inquiry further entrenching the existing bias of the Inquiry."

While the Nugent commission is to look at governance failures at Sars in general, in May, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed advocate Azhar Bam as the presiding officer in a disciplinary inquiry into Moyane's conduct, specifically.

In its first four days, the Nugent inquiry has heard testimony after testimony from former and current Sars employees about Moyane's conduct.

On Thursday, there were chilling testimonies of how Moyane and his deputy, Jonas Makwakwa, ran Sars "with an iron fist".

Former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, the institution's former spokesperson Adrian Lackay and other senior officials were some of the employees, both current and former, who told their stories over the seven hours for which the inquiry sat on Thursday.

Former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay claimed Moyane ran a "disinformation campaign", making false statements to the media without Lackay's knowledge.

Lackay recalled a few instances between December 2014 and February 2015 — when he resigned — that made working conditions "intolerable".

Despite the testimony largely being about Moyane, governance expert Peter Goss told eNCA on Thursday that one person cannot shoulder all of the blame.