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‘Chair in Moyane's hearing doesn’t have power to determine terms of reference’

Advocate Heidi Barnes has dismissed Moyane's claim that holding the disciplinary hearing while the Nugent Inquiry into governance at Sars is ongoing is unfair on Moyane.

A screengrab of Advocate Dali Mpofu (left) making representations on behalf of Tom Moyane (right) during his disciplinary hearing on 21 July 2018.

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa's advocate has argued the chair of Tom Moyane's disciplinary hearing does not have the power to determine the terms of reference and therefore the suspended South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner's claim that the process is unfair is premature.

Advocate Heidi Barnes has dismissed Moyane's claim that holding the disciplinary hearing while the Nugent Inquiry into governance at Sars is ongoing is unfair on Moyane.

“You’re bound to run the disciplinary inquiry in a manner that’s fair and just. We’ve repeatedly heard that that’s all that Mr Moyane asked for, fairness and justice and there it is, the terms of reference require it.”

The hearing was held in Sandton on Saturday five months after Ramaphosa suspended Moyane, citing declining public confidence in the institution under his leadership.

Moyane's advocate Dali Mpofu argues his client cannot be made to answer to disciplinary charges at a time when he's at the centre of the Nugent Inquiry into governance at Sars as well.

Mpofu says its irrational that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has given oral evidence at the tax probe but not at his client's disciplinary.

“It’s complete madness, it’s completely illogical. If he’s prepared to give evidence in the inquisitorial post, it should be that as it says here.”

Advocate Azhar Bam who is leading the inquiry says he will study the submissions with a view to delivering his ruling early next month.