South Africa


Tom Moyane granted leave to cross-examine Pravin Gordhan

Tom Moyane granted leave to cross-examine Pravin Gordhan
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan (Photo: Dai Kurokwa/EPA) / Former South African Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane (Photo: Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath)

Former SARS boss Tom Moyane has been granted leave to cross-examine Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, on certain conditions, at the Zondo commission of inquiry into State Capture. Gordhan intends applying for the same privilege.

Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday ruled that Moyane be granted leave to cross-examine Gordhan on whether, in laying criminal charges against Gordhan, he acted maliciously, whether he was motivated wholly or in part by or sought to advance State Capture, whether he was abusing a legal process, whether, as SARS commissioner, he sought to advance the State Capture project, and whether Moyane’s “personal goals” while commissioner included the advancement of the State Capture project.

This comes after Moyane’s lawyers approached the commission in October and implored Zondo to grant their request unconditionally, because “Gordhan’s claims are unsubstantiated” and not in the interests of fairness.

The issue of fairness is central to this. There was a general outcry after the first ruling, but the point is, with the greatest respect, that this notion that people are above being cross-examined should be dispelled.

We accept that there is no right to cross-examine, but there is a right to fairness. A person cannot come here and say that Moyane is an ‘advancer’ of State Capture and then he is immunised from being cross-examined,” advocate Dali Mpofu SC previously argued before the commission.

Judge Zondo previously denied Moyane leave to cross-examine the public enterprises minister in April, citing that the five themes presented by Moyane in his application failed to show how Gordhan had implicated him through his statement in allegations of State Capture and that he had failed to show why these themes would serve in the best interests of the work of the commission, News24 reported.

However, Zondo requested supplementary affidavits on one theme — for clarification purposes — under the title of malice from both parties on an issue involving the National Treasury in which Gordhan alleged that Moyane had laid charges against him with the Hawks relating to the so-called SARS “rogue unit” while he was finance minister, News24 reported.

Moyane has until 15 January 2020 to respond to Gordhan’s clarificatory affidavit.

After the ruling, Moyane’s attorney Eric Mabuza said:

Mr Moyane is pleased to [have] received justice. It has been a long road. We are looking forward to Gordhan coming forward to explain his statement that Moyane sought to advance the objectives of State Capture.”

While Moyane’s lawyers hope they will be granted a day to cross-examine Gordhan, Zondo is yet to determine the time frame.

Commenting on Zondo’s decision, Gordhan said in a statement that he “welcomes the direction from the chairperson that Mr Moyane must finally produce his full version on oath by 15 January on the identified issues”.

Today’s ruling will be a welcome opportunity for Mr Moyane to explain why he should not be held accountable for the massive failure of integrity and governance at SARS…” the statement read, adding that Gordhan’s counsel would apply to cross-examine Moyane. DM


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