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

Pretoria - Three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials, including former acting Commissioner Ivan Pillay have vowed to challenge the decision of the State to deny access to evidence linking them to the “Rogue Unit”.

Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg made a brief appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court charged with various counts of corruption including allegations of having been part of a “rogue unit” which allegedly spied on various high profile politicians. 

Their court appearance was brief after their legal counsel, Advocate Laurance Hodes, lodged an official complaint that his clients were still denied access to important documents related to the allegations against them.

“During my client last court appearance on August 23, we made a formal application to force the State to release certain documents to them. We then visited the prosecution offices on October 2. During our visit there, we were only allowed to view certain documentation,” Hodes said.

He said the prosecution promised them that they would release those documents prior to Thursday’s appearance but had failed to do so.

Hodes said his instructing attorneys then received a communication from the State Attorney’s office in which his clients were informed that they would not have access to those documents.

Despite these submissions in court, State prosecutor Sello Maema said he was ready to prosecute the three on charges laid against them. 

He asked the court to postpone the case until February 14 to the High Court in Pretoria. The high court is expected to determine a trial date for the three.

But, Hodes was adamant that he would make another application to force the State to release crucial evidence to his clients.

Political Bureau