Gordhan lays out charges against suspended tax chief Moyane

CAPE TOWN — Legal probity prevents State Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan from saying what he truly thinks of suspended tax chief Tom Moyane. But a profound lack of judgement and dereliction of duty should be sufficient reason to kick this stubborn and arrogant Zuptoid out. Those are the reasons officially cited by Gordhan. What Moyane allegedly did was fail to notify Gordhan of unusual deposits his deputy was making into his deputy’s account. Not only that, but Moyane illegally sent this same deputy a confidential report compiled by the Financial Intelligence Centre. That’s enough for us to imagine what Moyane was up to and why. – Chris Bateman

By Sam Mkokeli

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s government spelled out its case against suspended tax chief Tom Moyane, who is facing a disciplinary inquiry, accusing him of failing to keep his political superiors properly informed, frustrating a probe into his deputy’s conduct and approving staff bonuses without proper authorisation.

In an affidavit filed to lawyer Azhar Bham, who is presiding over Moyane’s disciplinary hearing, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan said Moyane failed to notify him that his deputy was accused of making unusual cash deposits into his bank account. Moyane also sent his deputy a confidential report compiled by Financial Intelligence Center, which was illegal, said Gordhan, who now oversees state companies.

Tricky Tom. More of Zapiro’s brilliant work available at www.zapiro.com.

“Mr. Moyane’s actions in this regard brought the South African Revenue Service into disrepute,” Gordhan wrote. There was “a profound lack of judgment on his part and dereliction of duty,” he said.

Moyane, who has denied wrongdoing and refused to resign, had clashed with Gordhan over plans for a management and systems overhaul at the revenue collection agency. The tax chief was a close ally of former President Jacob Zuma, who stepped down in February under pressure from the ruling party after an almost nine-year tenure that was marred by a series of scandals.

Zuma was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, who suspended Moyane in March, saying he had lost faith in his ability to lead the tax agency.

Illegal Payments

Gordhan accused Moyane of unilaterally giving the tax agency’s managers performance bonuses and salary increases, and said his warnings that the payments would be illegal unless they had ministerial approval went unheeded.

“An accounting authority that makes or permits financial misconduct commits an act of financial misconduct, which is grounds for dismissal or suspension,” Gordhan wrote.

The minister also alleged that Moyane had misled parliament when answering questions about procurement processes and the investigation into his deputy, and had instructed one of his managers to feign illness so that he wouldn’t have to appear before a probe into an investigative unit established by the tax agency.