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EDINBURGH — Tom Moyane, former commissioner of the South African Revenue Service, is one of the villains of the state capture scandal. He worked hand-in-glove with Zupta accolytes to work former finance minister Pravin Gordhan out of his post and created a living hell for former SARS officials who stood up to corruption. Finally, he is about to get his comeuppance after losing a legal battle, which ended in the Constitutional Court. A top South African judge has labelled Moyane ‘abominable’ and ‘reprehensible’. Moyane was fighting to keep his job after he was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of a corruption crackdown. The Constitutional Court decision sends a clear message to potential investors in South Africa, who have been worried about the extent of corruption in the country that developed under Jacob Zuma, that Ramaphosa is serious about excising graft-tainted officials. More SARS jobs are now at risk, warns Pauli van Wyk in this article for the Daily Maverick, which is republished here with the website’s kind permission. – Jackie Cameron
By Pauli van Wyk
Fired SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane‘s ‘abominable’ bid to force the President’s hand and get his job back has been smacked down by eight judges of South Africa’s apex court marking the end of his legal options to get his job back.
A short judgment from a bench of the Constitutional Court that included Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng suggesting that Tom Moyane’s request was wrong in law:
“The Constitutional Court has considered this application for leave to appeal. It concluded that the application should be dismissed as it bears no reasonable prospect of success.”
The judgment, dated 4 February, was only issued on Tuesday, 12 February, and the court did not award costs to any party.
This is the end of the road for Moyane who has fought, based on legal advice from attorney Eric Mabuza and Advocate Dali Mpofu SC, since March 2018 to be reinstated to his job while attempting to stop president Cyril Ramaphosa from appointing a new SARS Commissioner.
Moyane and his lawyers have lost every case they instituted since Ramaphosa suspended Moyane in March 2018. The suspension was primarily based on findings in an investigative series published over 19 months by Daily Maverick’s Scorpio.
The Constitutional Court’s judgment follows after Moyane appealed a scathing December judgment from the North Gauteng High court in which his application to get his job back was dismissed and got slapped with a punitive costs order. High Court Judge Hans Fabricius dismissed Moyane’s application to be reinstated in his job, refused to prevent Ramaphosa from appointing a successor and did not halt the Nugent Commission into SARS’ final report.
It’s the end of the road for #TomMoyane’s legal challenges to his dismissal as SARS Commissioner.
Concourt says his bid to appeal ruling (that dismissed his attempts to stop Pres Ramaphosa from appointing his replacement) has “no prospects of success” pic.twitter.com/qzkJ40JoCf
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) February 12, 2019
Fabricius had no kind words for Moyane, labelling his conduct “reprehensible”, his behaviour “abominable” and his application “an abuse of the processes of this court”.
“It is clear from my judgment that the conduct of the applicant in these proceedings is particularly reprehensible. It is vexatious and abusive. Both the office of the President and the third respondent (retired Judge Robert Nugent, chair of the Nugent Commission) have been attacked, insulted and defamed without any reasonable cause,” Fabricius found.
“Allegations impugning their integrity and character have been made regardless of the objective facts. Insults have been hurled at every conceivable opportunity,” he said.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court means Moyane will never return to SARS again and he has exhausted all the legal avenues in fighting to regain employment.
According to several sources, there was loud cheering and clapping in certain SARS offices across the country when the news reached Moyane’s former colleagues.
This will, however, be bad news for Moyane’s executive committee, whose own jobs have been at risk since his departure.
Moyane was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in September 2014. DM