S. African lawmakers back president in dismissal of revenue chief

CAPE TOWN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — South African lawmakers on Friday threw their weight behind President Cyril Ramaphosa in dismissing South African Revenue Services (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane.

The president had no choice but to dismiss Moyane given the fact that he had mismanaged SARS, said Yunus Carrim, Chairperson of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.

Carrim expressed concern that SARS may have been misleading the committee in its persistent denials that it was withholding value-added tax returns to inflate its achievement of revenue targets.

The Standing Committee on Finance requests the president to appoint a new SARS Commissioner as soon as possible, Carrim said.

This came after Ramaphosa fired Moyane on Thursday in a bid to restore faith in the revenue service and prevent further catastrophe for the embattled South African economy.

The president took the decision, as recommended by a commission of inquiry led by retired judge Robert Nugent.

The commission proposed in its interim report submitted at the end of September that Moyane be dismissed because he does not have the character of a person fit to lead SARS.

Also on Friday Moyane filed a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court against his dismissal.

Ramaphosa said in response that the Constitutional Court case brought by Moyane is now “moot” since he already fired him.

Moyane is blamed for significant tax undercollection during his tenure. Tax revenue was projected to fall short of the 2017 budget estimate by 50.8 billion rand (about 3.5 billion U.S. dollars) for that fiscal year. This was the largest undercollection since the 2009 recession.

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