Thursday, November 01, 2018

South Africa's Ramaphosa Fires Suspended Tax Boss Moyane
Nov. 1, 2018, at 12:34 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the members of the South African Foreign Correspondents Association in Johannesburg, South Africa November 1, 2018. Gianluigi Guercia/Pool via REUTERSREUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (REUTERS) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has fired "with immediate effect" the suspended head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Tom Moyane, his spokeswoman Khusela Diko said on Thursday.

Judge Robert Nugent, who is heading an inquiry into Moyane, had recommended the suspended tax chief should be removed from office for the mismanagement of SARS under his tenure and to forestall any further deterioration of the tax service.

In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said the interim report of the Nugent Commission "paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of SARS and the reckless mismanagement which characterized your tenure as Commissioner of SARS."

Ramaphosa, who had given Moyane time to respond to the recommendations by Nugent, said the former tax head failed to deal with the issues raised in the judge's report.

Moyane was not available for comment on Thursday. He has repeatedly defended his record and denied any wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa suspended Moyane in March after saying he had lost confidence in the ability of Moyane, appointed by scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma, to lead the agency. Ramaphosa took that step after Moyane refused to step down.

The agency has been plagued by infighting over the last the three years, has missed revenue targets, and is subject to ongoing government investigations.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)

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