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Small victory for former SARS officials

An urgent application was removed from the court roll on Tuesday morning.

Sars branch Pretoria

Three former officials from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) will now have an opportunity to make submissions to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in a criminal case against them.

 

Summonses were served on former SARS officials Ivan Pillay, Johan van Loggerenberg, and Andries Janse van Rensburg to appear in court in early April on charges of corruption and the unlawful interception of communication. Van Loggerenberg has been accused of the former, Janse van Rensburg the latter, and Pillay both.

 

An urgent application was struck from the roll in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday morning after the NPA agreed to allow the three officials to make representations at a date yet to be determined.

 

A recent letter by their lawyers described the summons as “out of the blue” given the 18 months that passed since the initial charges were withdrawn against Pillay and other former SARS officials, including then finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

 

The letter also states that the three officials were not contacted by the investigators or the prosecutors before they were asked to appear in court.

 

Both cases relate to the High Risk Investigation Unit – commonly known as the ‘Rogue Unit’. The ongoing case against the officials come despite the previous case being dropped and the auditing firm implicating them in wrongdoing, admitted to shortcomings in its own report.

 

Due to vague language, and a failure to comply with quality requirements and risk assessments, KPMG South Africa, in September last year, said the report’s “conclusions, recommendations and legal opinions should no longer be relied upon”.

 

Pillay, Van Loggerenberg, and Janse van Ransburg are set to appear in court on the 9th of April.

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