Former finance Minister Trevor Manuel File picture: Werner Beukes/ANA
CAPE TOWN – Former finance minister Trevor Manuel has confirmed publically that he has given a statement to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on the SARS employees accused of spying.

The statement was given last year after Manuel was subpoenaed in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act.

Manuel has come forward after his name was leaked to the media.

Manuel’s attorney, George van Niekerk said that his client was not a suspect in the case but rather a witness.

"I confirm that if I am required to testify, I shall comply with my civic duty to do so. I am advised that as a potential state witness I should not comment on the merits of the charges against the accused, and under the circumstances, I shall refrain from doing so. I am in any event not privy to the indictment," Manuel said this week.

"However, the fact that I am listed as one of the witnesses who may be called to testify for the prosecution should not, in the circumstances, be interpreted as an endorsement by me of the charges, or of the process adopted by the State in this matter," he added.

WE ARE BEING VILIFIED

Spokesperson Bernard Hortz addresses media on behalf of his clients, former head of the High Risk Investigation Unit (HRIU), Johann van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA

The three Sars employees include Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg.

Earlier this week all three suspects appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on charges related to the illegal interception of communications and corruption relating to the alleged installation of cameras at the offices of the NPA.

The three Sars executives said that their appearance this week was the latest instance in a campaign to "harass and vilify them."

The trio claim that the current charges against them were preceded by an 'abortive' attempt to prosecute Pravin Gordhan, Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashula in October 2016.


-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE