Ramaphosa Fires South African Tax Boss After Judicial Report

(Bloomberg) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa fired the head of the nation’s tax agency, Tom Moyane, after a recommendation by a judicial inquiry into the South African Revenue Service.

“Mr. Moyane’s dismissal is with immediate effect,” Khusela Diko, the president’s spokeswoman, said by phone Thursday from Pretoria. “The president cannot anticipate if Mr. Moyane will challenge the dismissal in court. The president has not indicated when or who he will appoint as a permanent head of SARS.”

Key Insights

  • Ramaphosa suspended Moyane in March, soon after replacing Jacob Zuma as president with a pledge to end graft in the government and state companies. Moyane was closely allied to Zuma, whose almost nine-year tenure was marred by scandal.
  • Retired judge Robert Nugent had recommended Ramaphosa should fire Moyane and replace him with a permanent commissioner in order to stabilize the agency.
  • In a letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said Nugent’s report “paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of SARS and the reckless mismanagement which characterized your tenure as commissioner.”
  • The agency repeatedly missed revenue collection targets since Moyane took over in 2014. He fired or reassigned about 200 senior managers and halted a modernization drive.
  • Moyane has previously denied wrongdoing and vowed to challenge any attempt to fire him.

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