Former South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane again accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of petty jealousy, racism and making “his problems with the former president Jacob Zuma his business”.
He was making his opening statement before giving evidence at the judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Wednesday morning.
Moyane took the witness stand at the commission to give his side of the story after Gordhan accused him of working in the interests of state capture.
The former commissioner has also been accused of wrongdoing and the dismantling of certain operations at Sars.
During proceedings, Moyane criticised the commission for summonsing despite him having signaled his intention to “assist the commission”.
“Chairperson, I would like to put it on record that I found the summons as confrontation. In my first affidavit deposed in September 2018 at all subsequent submissions, I affirmed my willingness to support the commission and my counsel on several occasion affirmed this position in the appearances that we made.
“The question that begs to be answered is why the summons this time around and the role of the law to be used against me as a criminal,” Moyane told the commission.
He said it was “very odd” to him that his legal team was given such limited time to cross-examine “the man who dragged my name to the commission”.
This is despite Gordhan admitting during the cross-examination that he relied on gossip, Moyane said.
Regarding his removal from Sars, Moyane told the commission it was “a well-orchestrated process”.
He said he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa, adding there was no discussion about his performance. Moyane was appointed Sars commissioner in September 2014 and fired by Ramaphosa on 1 November 2018.
Moyane accused retired judge Robert Nugent, then chairperson of the commission of inquiry into tax administration at Sars, of meeting with Gordhan to discuss the outcome of the inquiry before it even started.
“Chairperson, Judge Nugent was instructed to follow the script. He met secretly with Mr Gordhan to discuss the outcome… ‘get Moyane out as soon as possible’. I was belatedly invited and I was the cause of the establishment of the unit,” he said.
In 2018, Nugent defended his interim report calling for the immediate dismissal of then suspended Moyane.
In the report, Nugent said it was clear that Moyane had no intention of engaging the commission, confronting the evidence mounting against him, or accounting for his conduct during his tenure.
Commenting on the Sars “rogue unit“, Moyane claimed he had evidence that showed the unit’s members had fake identities in effort to carry out “illegal activities”.
“I literally walked into the middle of a storm has been brewing over a long time. I had an opportunity over time to meet some of if not all members who are mentioned. All members of this unit were issued with fake identity cards signed by the then-commissioner [Oupa Magashula] who shielded their illegal activities in the event they were caught out.”
The former Sars commissioner then said rogue unit members confessed to him about their activities.
“I would like to indicate that the rogue unit members did approach me. Two of them, and submitted what they said was a criminal past which they said only death would save them. The confession was elaborate and detailed on how they bugged, intercepted, listened and video recorded activities of the NPA offices, leaders of the SAPS and Scorpions in Pretoria,” he said.
Moyane further accused Gordhan of wanting to deflect from his own involvement in state capture and corruption by making his problems with Zuma his business.
“In conclusion, I appeal to the chair that in your report to pronounce and make a determination that Mr Gordhan spoke from gossip and jealousy blinded by his racist attitude towards me. Mr Gordhan must not make his problems with the former president my business,” he said.
Watch the proceedings, courtesy of SABC News, below: