ANALYSIS: What the EFF?! Gordhan fights being grilled by Moyane
He claims Malema's party is behind a bid by the ex-Sars boss to cross-examine him at the Zondo probe
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan is fighting a bid by fired SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane to cross-examine him at the Zondo state capture inquiry, on the basis that, among other things, Moyane is being used to advance the EFF’s political campaign against him.
Gordhan is believed to have raised the fact that Moyane is being represented by advocate Dali Mpofu, a senior office bearer in the EFF, to make his case that Moyane’s efforts to cross-examine him are being driven by political, rather than legal, considerations.
He has also used the findings of the Nugent Commission, which recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa fire Moyane for the sake of Sars and SA itself, to argue that the issues Moyane could question him about have already been decided, and cross-examination on them now is redundant.
Moyane, in turn, has dismissed any suggestion that he is merely a pawn in the EFF’s war with Gordhan, which has seen the minister pursue a hate speech complaint against EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu.
Gordhan laid the complaint after Malema accused him of being “corrupt”, “a dog of white monopoly capital” and hating black people, in a protest gathering outside the Zondo inquiry in 2018.
Moyane now insists that the right to cross-examine one’s accuser is fundamental, and maintains that not granting him such a right – when he is implicated by Gordhan’s evidence and is himself prepared to testify – would be legally and constitutionally problematic.
He failed to fight his November 2018 dismissal in urgent legal challenges in the Pretoria High and Constitutional courts, but is now trying to challenge its legality in non-urgent court proceedings in the Pretoria High Court. He maintains the processes that led to his dismissal were biased, unfair and illegal. The inquiry would not be drawn on when Gordhan and Moyane’s lawyers will face off over the cross-examination issue, but it is understood that arguments will be heard this week.
To convince Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that his lawyers should be allowed to cross-examine Gordhan, Moyane’s lawyers need to show that there are specific aspects of his testimony that Moyane disputes, and detail how he disputes these aspects.
They also need to show that Gordhan’s cross-examination by Moyane is necessary and in the best interests of the work of the commission. Moyane has indicated that he is more than willing to testify at the inquiry and face cross-examination by Gordhan.
If and when he does so, it will be the first time Moyane has taken the stand in any inquiry or court process concerned with the allegations of state capture against him.
In his testimony to the inquiry in 2018, Gordhan claimed he’d been targeted through a malicious and later aborted fraud prosecution, emanating from charges laid by Moyane.
He also testified that former president Jacob Zuma had been hell bent on appointing Moyane as SA’s tax boss, to his concern, and detailed how he said Moyane had resisted being accountable to him. He further gave evidence about Moyane’s alleged approval of New Integrated Credit Services being appointed as debt collectors for Sars, about which Gordhan says Moyane misled parliament.
The inquiry formally notified Moyane that he was implicated by Gordhan’s testimony in terms of the NICS contract.