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JOHANNESBURG — In the last two years, SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane has increasingly come under the spotlight. When Pravin Gordhan was named Finance Minister just after 9/12 in December 2015, one of the first trips Gordhan made was to SARS to find out why Moyane had ousted large numbers of highly skilled staff. Gordhan and Moyane would go on to clash several times more. In one particularly ugly spat, missed its collection targets Moyane would have shed few tears when sacked by the Zuptas earlier this year. The drama around Moyane wouldn’t stop though, especially as reports emerged that he personally intervened in securing the Guptas a R70m VAT refund in June this year. Added to this, Moyane was in Dubai in December 2015 for what is being called the “Zupta Lekgotla” held immediately after Nenegate. Also there visiting the Guptas at the same time were now suspended Eskom CFO Anoj Singh, Duduzane Zuma, two sons of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the also suspended PA to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Moyane, in this statement responding to the Times Media , denies any engagement with the Guptas but admits he was in Dubai for 10 days after enjoying a Portugal holiday. So, was Moyane in Dubai for its world-renowned Sheesha or he was getting down to business? In my notes below responding to his response [in square brackets and bolded italics] I pose the obvious further questions to SARS and Moyane. This particular genie is now very much out of the bottle – Gareth van Zyl
Press statement from SARS:
SARS has noted the media coverage which purports that Commissioner Tom Moyane met members of the Gupta family.
SARS can confirm that Commissioner Moyane was in Dubai on 23 December 2015, in transit to spend Christmas in Portugal. SARS can further confirm that he returned to Dubai on 29 December 2015 and returned to South Africa on the 8th of January 2016.
[Commissioner Moyane, this means that you then spent at least 10 days in Dubai, after returning from Portugal, before heading back to South Africa. Can you answer to the South African public then about whether your stay in Dubai was an extended holiday or were you there for work? You don’t make this distinction clear. Also, why did you travel to Dubai on your personal passport and not your diplomatic passport? Travelling to Dubai on your personal, South African passport would introduce lots of admin including the need for a visa.]
Commissioner Moyane categorically states that he has never met any member of the Gupta family in either his private or professional capacity.
[You were part of a team that probed the Guptas’ wedding party landing at Waterkloof airport. Did you not meet them then either? Surely, engaging with those being investigated would be a basic requirement? ]
SARS views the attempts to link the Commissioner and/or SARS as an institution with the Gupta family or their associates, as malicious and reckless in the extreme.
[OK, so explain then why you personally intervened to ensure SARS gave the Guptas a R70m VAT refund at a time when thousands of others are being kept waiting for theirs? Also, the nation would love to know what went on during that 10 day December 2015 trip at the same time as the Guptas, Anoj Singh, Duduzane Zuma, two sons of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the now suspended PA to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, Kim Davids?]
We call on anyone with information to the contrary to provide such to SARS or any organ of state.
[Ahem. Is this the new party line? Funny, I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. Including from Atul Gupta to the BBC – have a listen]
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