Cyril Ramaphosa to file his case against Tom Moyane on Wednesday
The Presidency will on Wednesday file a "comprehensive and quite lengthy" affidavit detailing the misconduct claims against suspended South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman told Business Day.
At this point it is unclear if Ramaphosa will depose to the affidavit, which is understood to run into hundreds of pages.
Ramaphosa’s counsel had agreed he would file this affidavit on Friday, but he missed this deadline, prompting a standoff between the Presidency and Moyane’s lawyers.
The president’s spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, did not want to be drawn on accusations from Moyane’s lawyers that Ramaphosa’s failure to file this affidavit on time, or to explain his delay, was "extremely unacceptable, unprofessional and discourteous".
Instead, she said: "We have communicated with the presiding officer and Mr Moyane’s lawyers that we were delayed in filing a comprehensive and quite lengthy affidavit in this inquiry.
"We will file this document on Wednesday.
This is not the only time Mabuza and the Presidency have been at odds over the hearing. Ramaphosa was forced to drop Judge Kate O’Regan and appoint advocate Azhar Bham SC as the presiding officer of the disciplinary charges
"Our delay does not affect the integrity of the process or the amount of time Moyane will be afforded to respond to the allegations against him."
Moyane’s lawyers say he wants the misconduct inquiry against him, which primarily concerns allegations of wrongdoing in his handling of the corruption claims against his former second-in-command, Jonas Makwakwa, to go ahead as soon as possible.
They have suggested that Ramaphosa’s failure to meet his own deadline to detail the accusations against Moyane is deeply unfair to him.
"The delays in getting this matter afoot and providing commissioner Moyane a fair opportunity to clear his name and go back to his office are becoming increasingly intolerable and costly," Moyane’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, wrote in a letter to the state attorney on Tuesday.
"We are instructed to urge you, as we hereby do, to once again impress upon the president that this matter needs to be treated with the utmost degree of urgency in the public interest and in the interest of the economy of SA."
Moyane’s lawyers have previously indicated that he does not believe the misconduct inquiry against him can be decided solely on documents and have repeatedly stressed that Ramaphosa must be called to testify about why he had lost confidence in the tax boss.
This is not the only time Mabuza and the Presidency have been at odds over the hearing. Ramaphosa was forced to drop Judge Kate O’Regan and appoint advocate Azhar Bham SC as the presiding officer of the disciplinary charges. This followed an objection raised by Moyane’s lawyers regarding the links between O’Regan and Corruption Watch, a nongovernmental organisation of which she is a board member.
They argued O’Regan was conflicted because Corruption Watch had said in March that it would pursue a private prosecution case against Moyane if the National Prosecuting Authority failed to act.