Ramaphosa names new presiding officer on Moyane’s inquiry

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to appoint a new presiding officer to head the inquiry into disciplinary charges against SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane.

This follows an objection raised by Mr Moyane regarding the links between Judge Kate O’Regan, who had initially been appointed as the presiding officer and Corruption Watch, an NGO of which she is a board member.

While the President is certain that Judge O’Regan would have adjudicated the matter objectively and that her position did not present a conflict, he decided that it would nevertheless be important to remove any possible
perception of bias.

The President has duly appointed Mr Azhar Bham SC as the presiding officer for the disciplinary inquiry.

Analysts support Ramaphosa’s decision to appoint a new presiding officer saying it eliminates all doubt around the process.

Moyane is facing 12 disciplinary charges related to alleged misconduct and violation of the SARS code of conduct.

Keith Engle of the South African Institute for Tax Professionals says the newly appointed presiding officer, Azar Bam is experienced enough for the job.

“The president moves very slowly and very carefully, now I frankly didn’t see the conflict of interest but he wanted to remove all and any chance of doubt. So the new guy Azar Bam, he’s a senior Advocate, he’s been in some of the Gupta battles and state capture battles before, so you looking at an experience guy to make sure that there’s not easy grounds for Moyane to gain traction,” Engle explained.

For more on the SARS discussion, watch below: