Former Sars chief Tom Moyane. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Former Sars chief Tom Moyane. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Axed South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has launched an urgent application in the high court to reverse his firing and block President Cyril Ramaphosa from appointing a successor.

The embattled former tax boss wants to remain suspended with pay, pending the outcome of an earlier Constitutional Court bid to halt either his disciplinary hearing or the Sars commission of inquiry chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent.

Ramaphosa, who first suspended him in March, flatly refused to reinstate Moyane in a letter handed to him last week.

Evidence before the Nugent commission showed that Moyane entered into contracts, costing a total of R400m, with consultants Bain & Company and Gartner unlawfully, with the latter contract benefiting his long-time friend Patrick Monyeki.

Evidence was also presented showing how senior Sars officials were purged and units that were key to the optimal functioning of the tax agency were neutralised during Bain and Moyane’s R164m restructuring. 

Moyane is now asking the high court  to stall all processes under way to restore Sars after his ruinous four-year reign, which culminated in a more than R100bn shortfall in revenue collection.

In his court application, Moyane also wants Nugent to stop issuing any further interim or final reports. Nugent is expected to deliver his final report on fixing Sars to Ramaphosa by the end of November. He has, however, asked that the disciplinary process against him, chaired by advocate Azhar Bham, remain in place. 

Moyane argues in his affidavit that the Nugent commission ‘‘strayed out of its terms of reference’’ in recommending his removal.

Nugent has stressed before the inquiry that his recommendation is related to the ‘‘management’’ of the institution and not the issues under consideration in the disciplinary process against Moyane. 

Moyane accuses Nugent of ‘‘nullifying’’ the work of the disciplinary inquiry against him, saying the retired judge has leveled ‘‘unnecessary, gratuitous’’ insults against him and ‘‘unduly praised’’ current acting commissioner Mark Kingon. 

Moyane complains that Ramaphosa’s termination of his service means he will not get paid a monthly salary — which was the case during his seven-month long suspension. Moyane wants the matter heard before a full court, with the set down date on November 27.