Tom Moyane. Picture: ALON SKUY
Tom Moyane. Picture: ALON SKUY

Nothing has changed regarding the disciplinary inquiry into suspended tax boss Tom Moyane, the Presidency said.

This is after Moyane’s attorney, Eric Mabuza, welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa “blinking” in the face of his client’s latest demand to halt the disciplinary process or the commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance chaired by retired  Judge Robert Nugent.

Mabuza spoke on Moyane’s behalf at the media briefing in Illovo on Monday, saying that he was simply pushing for his client to receive fair treatment from the government.

Moyane is facing serious allegations and could potentially face criminal charges over his conduct while at the helm of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in the last four years.

Mabuza told journalists on Monday that Moyane was “pleasantly surprised” at Ramaphosa’s response on Friday to his request that either the disciplinary inquiry or the Nugent commission be halted.

Mabuza had again threatened legal action if Ramaphosa had failed to halt one of the two processes.

But Ramaphosa did not respond directly to the threat. He said he would await the outcome of a formal objection lodged against the disciplinary inquiry chaired by advocate Azhar Bham to be heard on July 21, before taking a decision.

In yet another backtrack, on Monday Mabuza said Moyane would now only approach the courts after July 21, should Bham respond unfavourably to his request for the evidence in his disciplinary inquiry so far to be expunged.

Moyane and Mabuza have been threatening legal action against Ramaphosa and the state since he was suspended in March.

On Monday, Presidency spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said the Presidency was pleased that Moyane was happy, but was not sure what Mabuza meant. He had said Ramaphosa had “blinked” and interpreted the President’s response as relenting to his demands.

“Both processes as distinct as they are will continue as they were meant to, or were anticipated to, and the President will only consider [Moyane’s] objections after a decision from Bham SC,” she said.

“Nothing therefore has been changed. Nothing has been decided,” she said.

Moyane is attempting to win public sympathy through arguing that he is being treated unfairly. However, he has yet to respond to any of the very serious allegations against him, including why he allowed his second in command to return to work at SARS after he did not answer to allegations of suspicious and unusual transactions against him to the tune of R1.2m, identified in a report by statutory regulatory authority the Financial Intelligence Centre.

Moyane has also not responded to allegations that he ordered a SARS employee not to co-operate with a KPMG investigation into the alleged “rogue unit” at the tax agency — of which much has been published.

On Monday, however, Mabuza, alleged that the recording of Moyane's ordering the SARS staffer to pretend to be sick during the KPMG investigation had been “doctored”, but could not elaborate.