The president is not empowered to dismiss the SARS commissioner or ask the National Prosecuting Authority to drop investigations‚ the Presidency said on Monday.
Amid calls for President Jacob Zuma to make just such an intervention‚ the Presidency issued an appeal on Monday afternoon for editors and “interested parties” to “respect the institutions and processes created in terms of the Constitution and the law‚ in light of the media reports over the weekend relating to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the Minister of Finance‚ Mr Pravin Gordhan”.
With a war brewing between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and Gordhan‚ and markets nervous about the possibility that Gordhan would be fired‚ the rand dropped on Friday and has been volatile on Monday.
“Media reports demanding that the President should summarily dismiss the SARS commissioner or interfere with the work of government agencies are unhelpful. There are prescripts within government which stipulate the processes to be utilised to resolve labour relations issues or disputes within the work environment‚” the Presidency said in its statement.
“The difficulty in the relationship between the Minister of Finance and the SARS Commissioner is being dealt with through the correct channels using the correct legal prescripts. The President began discussions with Minister Gordhan and Mr Moyane on this matter long before the State of the Nation Address and Budget2016. Measures are being put in place to address the issues responsibly and amicably‚ for the benefit of all. We urge interested parties to exercise calm and restraint and allow space for the matters to be resolved using correct channels.
“There is also a need to ensure accuracy in the reporting of this matter.
“The media has incorrectly reported‚ among other things‚ that there is a war at SARS and that the President and the Minister of Finance are somehow at war. This is a total fabrication and mischievous sensationalism.
“Other reports have insinuated that the position of Minister Gordhan could be in jeopardy. The President wishes to emphasise that Minister Gordhan remains the Minister of Finance and any positing that the position of the Minister is under any threat is dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”[Source: Times Live]