Gordhan Threatens to Resign Over Tax Boss, Business Day Reports

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan threatened to resign if President Jacob Zuma doesn’t fire the head of the country’s tax authority, Business Day reported, citing unidentified people.

Gordhan issued the ultimatum to Zuma last weekend before his budget speech to parliament on Wednesday, because of a serious deterioration in his relationship with Tom Moyane, commissioner of the South African revenue service, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said.

The tax authority has been rocked by the resignations of several senior executives since Moyane took office in September 2014. Local newspapers have reported a range of allegations of wrongdoing by the executives who served during Gordhan’s tenure as commissioner of the authority between 1999 and 2009, including that the Revenue Service operated a “rogue” unit that spied on political leaders, including Zuma.

In a recent incident, a special investigations unit of the South African Police Service questioned Gordhan by letter about his knowledge of the unit, Business Day said.

Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the police, didn’t answer a call seeking comment. Phumza Macanda, a spokeswoman for the Treasury, declined to comment when contacted by phone. Sandile Memela, a spokesman for the revenue service, couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone.

“It’s no secret that we have a set of issues to resolve in this institution,” Gordhan told reporters in Cape Town on Wednesday when asked why Moyane was absent from budget press conference. “In due course we’re confident that we will resolve those issues and the public will get to know about how we are resolving them.”

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