File picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Johannesburg - The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has declined to comment on a report in the Sunday Times that top tax investigator Johan van Loggerenberg “looks set” to be removed from various high profile cases.

“The same story was in the newspaper last week, and our comments remain the same,” Sars spokeswoman Marika Muller told Sapa.

“We are not making any further comments on this story.”

The Sunday Times said a report by a panel investigating allegations of misconduct against Van Loggerenberg outlined his failure to separate his personal life, charity work and his job, and that his romantic relationship with lawyer Belinda Walter was a “patent conflict of interest”.

An unnamed source told the newspaper Van Loggerenberg had been placed on special leave pending the outcome of the inquiry into these allegations.

On Saturday, Van Loggerenberg denied to the publication that he had been instructed to take special leave.

He said he had not yet received the panel's findings, and could not comment until then.

The source told the newspaper the inquiry would investigate donations channelled through Van Loggerenberg's charity, Wachizungu Sawa Sawa. The donations were allegedly from taxpayers under investigation by Sars.

Last week, the Sunday Times reported that Van Loggerenberg had been romantically involved with Walter while she represented tobacco companies he was investigating, and had allegedly disclosed confidential taxpayer information to her.

Sars confirmed to Sapa last week that Walter had laid a complaint against Van Loggerenberg after their relationship ended.

At the time, Lackay said Sars established a review panel which looked into Walter's complaint. Walter appeared before the panel but did not supply it with relevant facts and refused to put her allegations into a sworn affidavit.

Walter withdrew her complaint against Van Loggerenberg “without prejudice”.