Sars (ie, you) likely to pay for Moyane’s legal challenge against Ramaphosa

Experts argue the suspended commissioner's court action is merely a fight for survival as he probably needs the money.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) will likely have to foot the legal bill in suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane’s court battle with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that Moyane was squaring up to take the president to court over his decision to suspend him on allegations of corruption. Moyane, according to the newspaper, was arguing that the decision was predetermined.

Asked whether Sars would pay for Moyane’s fees to take on Ramaphosa, Sars spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi declined to comment. But constitutional expert Shadrack Gutto said this was likely to be the case.

“If he is alleged to have committed an offence when he was in office then the state will have to pay for that, which is to say that you and I will have to foot that bill,” he said.

Gutto also questioned the merits of Moyane’s argument against the presidency, adding that Ramaphosa had far more urgent matters to be attending to.

“Whatever Ramaphosa’s intentions were for suspending or removing him from office, that is another thing. The question that needs to be tested is not whether Ramaphosa has ill-intentions or feelings about people who were appointed under [former president Jacob] Zuma, it is whether Moyane is guilty of wrongdoing.

“Another issue is that Ramaphosa is not acting fast enough against Zuma’s wrongdoings. He is instead going after the small fish, rather than the big fish.”

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni argued that Moyane’s court action was merely a fight for survival.

“Moyane has to fight for his life as well.

“He might belong to the same camp as Zuma, but unlike Zuma, who has a secured salary for life, Moyane – once exposed and removed and found guilty of corruption or not – at this young age would not have worked long enough, except to say ‘I am a comrade, please deploy me’.”

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