Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Justice Kate O’Regan. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Justice Kate O’Regan. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Former Constitutional Court Justice Kate O’Regan herself had informed suspended South African Revenue Service boss Tom Moyane’s legal team that she had been a member of the board of Corruption Watch for a long period of time.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa rejected Moyane’s bid to have the state pay his legal costs and to amend the rules of engagement in the disciplinary inquiry, Moyane’s attorneys turned their attention to O’Regan, demanding that she be removed as chairwoman of the inquiry because she was on the board of Corruption Watch.

Corruption Watch had written to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) urging it to bring criminal charges against Moyane for his handling of the Financial Intelligence Report into his former second in command, Jonas Makwakwa.

In a letter to O’Regan, Moyane’s legal team expressed gratitude that she informed them of her role in Corruption Watch.

"We are grateful to you for reminding us of your long-standing association with Corruption Watch before the start of the inquiry," wrote Moyane’s attorney Eric Mabuza.

The NPA — largely criticised for failing to prosecute politically sensitive cases under former president Jacob Zuma — replied to Corruption Watch, saying it did not believe that Moyane had a case to answer.

Last week it changed its mind, informing Corruption Watch that it was reviewing its decision not to prosecute Moyane.

While O’Regan, according to Corruption Watch insiders, is not involved in the running of the organisation, Moyane’s attorneys requested that she recuse herself.

The new demand from Mabuza marks yet another delay in the inquiry against Moyane, in a critical week in which the Makwakwa matter is set to be further thrashed out in Parliament.

The Presidency could not immediately be reached about how it would respond to the new challenge.