Former SA Revenue Service boss Tom Moyane has accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of having been jealous of his achievement of being the first Sars commissioner to collect R1 trillion in tax revenue.
JOHANNESBURG – Former SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane has accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of having been jealous of his achievement of being the first Sars commissioner to collect R1 trillion in tax revenue.
These revelations were made on Monday by Moyane’s legal counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu, during the cross-examination of Gordhan at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
The exchanges between Gordhan and Mpofu were often acrimonious, with Mpofu accusing the minister of making up evidence.
Mpofu said Moyane would testify before the commission that his differences with Gordhan began during his tenure as Sars commissioner.
“Mr Moyane will testify that Gordhan was arrogant towards him. He would also testify that Mr Gordhan was a racist towards African people to deflect his own role in state capture and corruption. Mr Moyane will also testify that Gordhan was against him for blowing the whistle on the rogue unit and illegal corrupt activities at Sars, including the early retirement payout to Ivan Pillay (former Sars deputy commissioner).
“Mr Moyane will also testify that he was the first Sars commissioner to collect R1 trillion in tax but Mr Gordhan did not congratulate him,” Mpofu said.
In justifying allegations of racism, Mpofu said shouting at a person of the same age as him and telling Moyane to grow up and being cheeky was proof that Gordhan was a racist.
In his testimony, Gordhan denied the allegations, saying he was non-racist and that was the reason he joined the Congress Movement (ANC) and subscribed to the Freedom Charter.
“It is actually Mr Moyane who disrespected me. He did not want to apply for leave from me. He told me that he reports to the president. He also paid bonuses to some of his staff members when he was ordered not to.
“The late Auditor-General (Kimi Makwetu) lodged a complaint about the payment of the bonuses and Mr Moyane threatened to take him to court. Mr Moyane also refused to discuss measures to review the new operating model at Sars. He did not allow an inquiry into what was going on at Sars,” Gordhan said.
Mpofu took Gordhan to task for relying on “gossip” when accusing Moyane of colluding with the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority.
Gordhan said he could not recall how he had picked up the information, but was willing to provide further information when he remembered.
Earlier during the day, things heated up as the cross-examination turned into a battle of words between Gordhan and Mpofu.
In his early testimony, Gordhan had admitted Moyane did not lay criminal charges against him but maintained his version Moyane’s tenure at the tax authority was meant wholly or in part to pursue state capture.
The proceedings were characterised by bitter exchanges between Gordhan and Mpofu after the legal counsel accused the minister of not giving concise responses to his questions.
Mpofu on several occasions took Gordhan to task for “rambling” and providing “long, unnecessary answers that were only prolonging the testimony”.
Both Mpofu and Gordhan spoke while the other was trying to make a point, forcing Justice Zondo to intervene several times.
Gordhan told the commission the tension between him and Moyane began after he was appointed as finance minister in 2015. He said he organised a meeting with Moyane with the view of getting information from him about the New Operating Model at Sars.
The model was introduced by Bain Consulting Agency, and Gordhan said it led to Sars failing to collect tax and custom duties.
Gordhan said the model dismantled many units which were responsible for the collection of duties.
He also said a number of people, due to the introduction of the new model, lost their jobs.
Mpofu questioned Gordhan about his hostility towards Moyane.
In his reply, Gordhan maintained the hostilities started after his appointment.