The Presidency said that Ramaphosa’s decision followed the recommendation by the Sars Commission chaired by Judge Robert Nugent that immediate action was needed to forestall any further deterioration of the country’s tax administration system.

In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said that the interim report from the Nugent Commission “paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of Sars and the reckless mismanagement which characterised your tenure as Commissioner of Sars”.

“Of further, and in many ways greater, concern is your refusal to meaningfully participate in the Sars Commission in order to assist with identifying the root causes of the systemic failures at Sars and ways in which to arrest these,” he said.

Ramaphosa said that the representations submitted by Moyane in response to the recommendations of the Nugent Commission failed “entirely to deal with the substantive issues the report raises”.

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“The interim report makes clear that there is considerable evidence, which the Sars Commission gathered, indicating that in order to resolve the challenges at Sars, it would be best to terminate your services,” he said.

Ramaphosa appointed Nugent in June to chair the Commission to probe allegations of financial misconduct at Sars, including that it led to a revenue collection shortfall of R50-billion between 2014 and 2018 under Moyane.

In the interim report released on 16 October, Nugent said it was clear that Moyane had no intention of engaging the commission, confronting the evidence mounting against him or accounting for his conduct during his tenure.

“That is not the character of a person fit to lead a vital public institution,” read the report.

Nugent also urged people to read the interim report with its annexures.

– African News Agency