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There’s no love lost between former South African Revenue Service (Sars) head Tom Moyane and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The two have been sworn enemies for years, battling it out in court over allegations of state capture, corruption and illegal activities. While Moyane was eventually sacked from his position in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, he hasn’t taken the blow to his career lightly, applying to cross-examine Gordhan in a bid to clear his name. While counter-accusations of lies, fraud and state capture were heard by Judge Ray Zondo at the commission, it was Moyane’s damning allegations against Gordhan, which ultimately stole the show – Bernice Maune
By Bernice Maune
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has categorically denied all the allegations brought by the former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane at the Zondo Commission.
Gordhan was cross-examined by Moyane’s legal team, Adv Dali Mpofu, and was accused of being racist, petty, corrupt and arrogant. At the start of the inquiry, Gordhan said he had evidence that Moyane was involved in state capture. However, he failed to present any concrete proof except to say that he had heard about Moyane’s dealings.
On Moyane’s allegations against him that he is racist, Gordhan maintained he was innocent.
“All allegations have no factual basis. I am emphatically a non-racialist; my 50 years in the (ANC) movement is proof of that. The racism is part of fake news rhetoric and these are merely a cover-up for what Moyane really did. The day he took office was a calamity for SARS as the transition of events is shocking,” said Gordhan.
Mpofu cited how Gordhan had called Moyane ‘cheeky,’ telling him to grow up during an encounter at a Sars meeting. The statement, which Mpofu said was belittling and racist, was evident in Gordhan’s racism towards black Africans.
“So far Mr Gordhan, your dots are in invisible ink.” – Mpofu
In referring to petty jealousies, Mpofu said his client was deliberately excluded from a press conference despite being a key member of the National Treasury and its affiliated departments. After Moyane became the first Sars commissioner to collect R1 trillion in revenue, Gordhan refused to acknowledge his accomplishment and did not congratulate him. Gordhan says he wasn’t invited because there wasn’t enough space for him to sit at the main table but he could attend the conference.
Mpofu tells Gordhan that Mr. Moyane was the first SARS Commissioner in the country to collect Trillion Rand but Gordhan did not congratulate him, he adds that instead Gordhan used his Ministerial discretion to excluded him from the press conference.#StateCaptureInquiry
— State Capture Commission (@StateCaptureCom) November 30, 2020
Moyane says he blew the whistle on corrupt activities that Gordhan allegedly participated in, such as the early retirement Ivan Pillay was given and the establishment of the rogue unit.
“Moyane must come along and say in an affidavit on record and have a chance to test his evidence. Blowing the whistle on a unit that showed to be legal. Pillay has gone through all sort of processes, there’s nothing illegal and that was proven for the record and the facts don’t support them,” said Gordhan.
When questioned about evidence that Moyane had met with the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) every day, Gordhan said he had heard from others who had seen Moyane but had no proof of his own.
According to Gordhan, part of state capture is to take control of an institution either at the Board level or the CEO level and to protect yourself in terms of investigations or inquiry in terms of what was going on in the organisation. Gordhan said he believed Moyane was part of state capture as he refused to submit leave forms to him, questioned his authority and appeared to be close to former President Jacob Zuma.
“What does Mr Moyane’s refusal to submit leave forms has to do with state capture? It’s not a crime to refuse to account to your senior, at best it’s insubordination,” said Mpofu.
When asked to present more evidence on Moyane’s alleged involvement in state capture, Gordhan said he had heard from other parties but could not say exactly what they had said and why he believed them.
“Do you expect people to take you seriously? Do you expect this commission to take you seriously?” Mpofu quipped.
In response, Gordhan said: “Yes, I do take state capture seriously; it has damaged this institution which is under collecting. If you look at findings, you’ll see. I imagine the commission will connect its own dots and make its own conclusion, all these matters are extremely serious and the people responsible for damage must be held accountable.”
“So far Mr Gordhan, your dots are in invisible ink,” Mpofu shot back.
Judge Ray Zondo has ruled for another date to conclude Gordhan’s evidence. Moyane is also set to testify at a date to be determined and announced by the commission.
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