Picture: succo/Pixabay
Picture: succo/Pixabay

EFF considers legal action following judgment on 'rogue unit' Inspector General report

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 10, 2020

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Johannesburg - The EFF has threatened to pursue a review application regarding the North Gauteng High Court judgment that reviewed and set aside a 2014 Inspector-General of Intelligence report into the "Sars rogue unit" matter.

Judge Sulet Potterill issued her judgment on Monday following an agreement between former Sars executive Johann van Loggerenberg, Inspector General of Intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe and Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo that the report should be set aside and reviewed. 

The report in question was released in October 2014 and was titled; "Report on the investigations into media allegations against the Special Operations Unit or branches of the State Security Agency". 

It had made several findings against former Sars officials Pravin Gordhan, Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg. It found that a rogue unit had been illegally set-up at Sars while Gordhan was commissioner. Van Loggerenberg took the report up for review in December 2019 after a redacted form of the classified report was released to the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The minister of state security and the IGI had sought to oppose the application.

But both the minister and the IGI later decided to settle the matter with van Loggerenberg which resulted in Monday's court judgment that agreed to set aside the report.

The EFF has cried foul following Monday's judgment labelling the settlement agreement as a "stolen judgment obtained through thuggery".

The party claims it, along with Mkhwebane, were not consulted in the case even though they have an interest in the matter. The EFF has long had a contentious relationship with Gordhan and has made numerous allegations against him over the years. The party had used a copy of the IGI report as part of a hate speech court case involving Gordhan. They had long called for the report to be made public as the believed that a “rogue unit” was illegally established at Sars, even though evidence suggests otherwise.

Mkhwebane had supported the EFF's calls for the report to be declassified. She had access to a redacted version of the report while she concluded her investigation into the existence of a "rogue unit" at Sars. Her report was released last year and found Gordhan had violated the executive ethics code as he allowed the establishment of an illegal unit at Sars.

Gordhan is reviewing that report in court and has been granted an interdict suspending the Mkhwebane's remedial action.

The EFF said Mkhwebane's report into the Sars unit was being appealed at the High Court and the judge and the legal counsel of all representatives had acted unlawfully in agreeing to set aside the 2014 report.

"The EFF had written several letters to concerned parties requesting court papers to intervene in the matter with no success but to be surprised by the judgment. The judge is aware or ought to be aware that the report is a material subject of litigation of a report on Jamandas (Gordhan) in the same division," the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The EFF will lodge papers for rescission of judgment and investigation by both the Legal Practice Council and the Judicial Service Commission on the conduct of the lag team and the court on this matter."

Mkhwebane's office declined to comment on the judgment on Tuesday saying it was not involved in the case.

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