South Africa’s Presidency takes former head of tax agency to court over alleged misconduct

South Africa’s former revenue service head Tom Moyane has been served with disciplinary charges by the country’s presidency over alleged misconduct in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities in terms of the revenue service Act.

The presidency has appointed retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O’Regan to head Moyane’s inquiry. According to an emailed statement from the presidency on Friday, O’Regan is to preside over the disciplinary inquiry that has to do with “alleged leadership and organizational failures.”

Prior to this development, President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Moyane as commissioner of the South African Revenue service in March, after the former tax head refused to step down as instructed. The agency has been plagued by infighting over the last the three years and is subject to ongoing government investigations.

Ratings agency Moody’s affirmed South Africa’s investment-grade credit rating, days after Moyane was suspended. Reuters reported that Moody’s said changes at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and cabinet had set Africa’s most industrialize economy on a good course.

There was increased level of under-collection of taxes under Moyane’s tenure as commissioner at the agency. The suspended commissioner also had a clash with the former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan regarding plans for a management and systems overhaul at SARS.

Pledging to tackle endemic corruption, the presidency plans to publish more information in another inquiry as soon as possible. This separate inquiry will highlight tax-administration issues including refunds of value-added tax and shortfalls in revenue for the past two financial years.