Tom Moyane. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Tom Moyane. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has made a submission to President Cyril Ramaphosa on why he should not be removed from the key post at the helm of the tax agency.

Ramaphosa wrote to Moyane after receiving an interim report from the Sars commission of inquiry chairman, retired Judge Robert Nugent, recommending that Moyane be removed and a permanent tax boss appointed without delay in order to stabilise Sars. 

Nugent had made it clear that his recommendation was one which related to the “management” of Sars and was separate from the disciplinary charges against Moyane for gross misconduct and bringing the tax agency into disrepute.

After receiving Nugent’s recommendation, which described Moyane’s reign as “calamitous”, Ramaphosa wrote to Moyane asking why he should not implement the recommendation. Moyane was given until Friday last week to respond to the president.

Presidency spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni on Monday confirmed receiving Moyane’s submission.

Nugent had described Moyane’s management of Sars as “reckless’’ and said the day he took office was a ‘‘calamity’’.

His tenure had allegedly benefited “delinquent taxpayers” and allowed criminal networks, including the illicit tobacco industry, to “operate with little constraint’’. 

It is unclear whether Moyane had made a substantive response to the allegations against him, or whether he had requested an extension of the October 26 deadline.

Moyane’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Ramaphosa is coming under increasing pressure to remove Moyane, with finance minister Tito Mboweni highlighting the urgency of stabilising Sars, which is anticipated to collect revenue less than its targets for the next two years, after posting a R48bn shortfall in 2017.

Nugent also stressed during public hearings of the Sars commission of inquiry that the recommendation in his interim report for Moyane’s removal was final and will not be revisited when he submits his final report to Ramaphosa at the end of November.

Moyane is challenging both the Nugent inquiry and the disciplinary process against him, chaired by advocate Azhar Bham, in the Constitutional Court.