Civic organisation wants answers over dismissal of Sars rogue unit report
Durban – Civic organisation Democracy in Action is demanding answers from the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Shamila Batohi, on the withdrawal of the Sars rogue unit and alleged Cato Manor police hit squad reports.
Democracy in Action’s letter to Batohi on Friday comes as the revenue service this week dismissed the “Sars rogue” unit report by advocate Muzi Sikhakhane from 2014, saying it was pursuing plans to compensate those who had been traumatised by the report.
In February, the NDPP withdrew charges against Andries Janse Van Rensburg, Johan van Loggerenburg and Ivan Pillay, the three main accused of running the Sars Rogue Unit.
Thabo Mtsweni, the Democracy in Action chairperson, said they were an interested party in both the Sars Rogue Unit and Cato Manor matters, as the issues arising from them affect the public at large and had a huge impact on human rights.
“We note that you took a decision to withdraw the above matters. The decisions were made. We seek to obtain clarity from your good self on the reason for such withdrawals and we safely assume that the decisions announced by you were documented and contained reasons for such conclusions.
“We further became aware that in respect of the Sars Rogue Unit matter, you appointed a review panel who provided you with an opinion and recommendations. We kindly request that you furnish us with the copy of such an opinion and recommendations,” said Mtsweni.
He added that they were concerned that matters around the rogue unit were being “squashed as if nothing ever happened”, although as Democracy in Action they believe the rogue unit did exist, particularly as there are people who had testified that they had worked for the rogue unit.
On the Cato Manor issue, Mtsweni said: “The last time she said that she is withdrawing the racketeering charges against the police, but those people were charged with various charges, including assault and murder.’’
However, he said Batohi hasn’t specified whether the other charges have been withdrawn or not.
“We want to find out if she is still investigating and if she is investigating, where the process is and why it is taking so long. Ours is just to seek information at the moment,” said Mtshweni.
He added that if Batohi and her office indicated that they would not be investigating both the Sars Rogue Unit and Cato Manor matters any further, Democracy in Action would like to take them on for private prosecution.
NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said they have not seen the letter.
“I don’t remember seeing this letter, However, when it arrives she will apply her mind and respond,” he said.