Former Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay File picture: Masi Losi

Cape Town - Lawyers for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane have withdrawn the civil proceedings against former SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay, he said on Sunday.

Lackay said he had received written notice to this effect on Thursday last week, and the parties also indicated that they would pay legal costs incurred.

In May 2015, Lackay was served with a combined summons in which SARS and Moyane claimed R12 million in damages from him for "defamation".

The civil claims emanated from a submission he made to the chairperson of parliament's standing committee on finance (SCOF) and the chairperson of the joint standing committee on intelligence on March 24, 2015, after having resigned as SARS spokesman on March 19, 2015, he said.

He had raised a number of concerns with the two parliamentary committees in view of the oversight function in the legislature.

"Regrettably, the parliamentary committees chose not to consider or entertain the substance of my submission. Instead, Dr Dion George, a former DA [Democratic Alliance] member of the SCOF, released my letter to the media and SARS and Moyane responded by instituting civil proceedings against me," Lackay said.

It was also regrettable that many of the concerns outlined in March 2015 regarding SARS and its revenue collection capability "seem to have materialised, as evidence and testimony before the current Nugent Commission of Inquiry into SARS have shown", he said.

Considerable damage had been caused not only to SARS, but to the careers and reputations of many former and current SARS colleagues as well, Lackay said. 

"In particular, my former SARS colleagues, Messers Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg, are still being persecuted. They still face criminal charges before court based on the allegations of a 'rogue unit' despite such allegations being extensively disproved. They need our continued support and vigilance to ensure that justice also prevails for them and their families," Lackay said.

African News Agency/ANA