Tom Moyane vs Pravin Gordhan: Behind-the-scenes as Zupta tried to capture treasury #Zondo

The delay over the cross-examination of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has come to an end as he appeared at the Zondo Commission today. Previously Gordhan’s Cabinet matters kept him from testifying about his tense relationship with ex-SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. The pair have been involved in a back and forth for years, with counter-accusations of corruption, lies and state capture dealings. Moyane, however, was found to have frustrated tax compliance procedures at SARS, leaving it in a less than savoury state. His close ties to former president Jacob Zuma also placed him in a precarious position and he was eventually fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa. – Bernice Maune. 

By Bernice Maune 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told the Zondo Commission former South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane actively participated in state capture activities that would ensure the National Treasury was compromised.

Testifying remotely, Gordhan said it was on medical advice that he not attend the inquiry in person.

Gordhan is being cross-examined by Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing Moyane. The hostility between the pair has been palpable, as Mpofu’s political party, the EFF, hasn’t shied away from speaking out against Gordhan whom they deem arrogant.

Moyane was fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa for reckless mismanagement during his tenure as commissioner and for failing to comply with an internal commission to establish allegations of wrongdoing.

At the beginning of his testimony, Gordhan reiterated that he believed Moyane had dismantled the credibility and reputation of SARS through his decision making and actions. Gordhan says Moyane vilified him and wanted to remove him as finance minister so he could capture the treasury. He alleges Moyane abused the legal process and his personal goals included advancement of the state capture project.

Professionals with experience left SARS because they didn’t want to be associated with those type of developments (state capture).

In addition, Gordhan said Moyane had failed in his duties as commissioner, undoing good governance which had taken years to implement. The finance minister stated he felt insulted over charges laid against him by Moyane, that he rejected his oversight as the head of the department and dismantled institutions that ensured tax compliance.

“Professionals with experience left SARS because they didn’t want to be associated with those type of developments (state capture).

“So today the new command management would have the added task of rebuilding capability and capacity, on one hand, encouraging tax compliance compared to when Moyane was there. This has serious consequences in the balancing of books. Consequences that are felt by ordinary people in SA on a day to day level,” said Gordhan.

Mpofu then complained to Judge Ray Zondo that Gordhan had issued this evidence in November 2018, was rambling and wasting the commission’s time by not getting to the point.

“Gordhan has given evidence of being vilified, Moyane and his business centres, he gave it unabated so why should he give it for the third or fourth time,” said Mpofu.

The Zondo Commission also heard how Gordhan needed to clarify his stance again. Gordhan was then given an opportunity to state what his evidence would deal with and he outlined the following;

  • A pattern with state enterprises such as SARS of state capture by certain individuals.
  • Charges brought against him Moyane
  • The lack of accountability related to general housekeeping within SARS such as applications for leave
  • Personal knowledge of what was set up in state capture activities
  • Dismantling of key functional centres within the tax body
  •  Evidence of pensions and the SARS rogue unit issue

The cross-examination of Gordhan by Moyane continues.

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