Former South African Revenue Services commissioner Tom Moyane’s application to cross-examine public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has been deferred by state capture commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zondo considered presentations by both parties’ legal representatives on Wednesday.
Through his legal representative, Advocate Dali Mpofu, Moyane submitted that the allegations made against him by the former finance minister were “vengeful and racist” and motivated by his personal disdain towards him.
Mpofu said that Gordhan’s evidence before the commission implicated his client in two “broad respects”.
“Gordhan first implicates him [Moyane] in the alleged participation in the awarding of a contract or tender to the newly integrated Credit Solutions, a company owned by Moyane’s alleged friend Patrick Monyeki. His testimony also implicates Moyane in allegedly refusing to account to the minister,” said Mpofu.
Besides these “clear and obvious” implications, Mpofu argued that there were in total about 15 other instances in which his client was directly or indirectly implicated by Gordhan’s testimony before the commission.
He argued that since the implications were criminal in nature it was only through cross examining his accuser that his client could clear his tainted name.
Mpofu added that should Moyane be afforded the opportunity to cross examine Gordhan and make his own submission, it would become clear that it was “Gordhan, himself, who secured lucrative multi-billion rand contracts without following proper procedures”.
He also argued that should the commission not give Moyane the permission to cross examine Gordhan, “that will discourage people from appearing before the commission”.
Gordhan’s legal representative Advocate Michelle Le Roux rubbished Moyane’s argument, concluding that “Mr Moyane has not laid a foundation identifying specific aspects from Minister Gordhan’s evidence that he disagreed with, and the grounds for that dispute”.
“There is no automatic right to cross examination in this commission and should Moyane wish to cross examine Minister Gordhan he should pass the test set by the regulations and rules of the commission to afford him this opportunity,” Le Roux argued.
She said that Moyane was merely seeking to resuscitate SARS-related issues, such as the rogue unit narrative and his appointment and removal at SARS, “which have been dealt with by Robert Nugent in his commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS”.
Le Roux also warned the commission against “consoling Mr Moyane’s feelings” or affording him the platform “to air his personal grievances”. She instead challenged Zondo to weigh out whether it was necessary and in the best interest of the working of the commission to even afford Moyane the commission’s time.
Zondo will make his decision once he has fully considered both legal representatives’ points of view.