Former Sars officials Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg in court. Picture: Zelda Venter/Pretoria News.

Pretoria - The three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials, former acting Commissioner Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg will be back in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on June 12

They previously appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court where they were charged with various counts of corruption including allegations of having been part of a “rogue unit” which allegedly spied on various high profile politicians.

The case will, however, from now on be dealt with by the high court.

The trio eventually scored a first round victory after the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), in an 11th hour turn-about, agreed to hand the defence team part B of the state’s case docket in the criminal trial against them.

Although the three were promised the contents of the case documents in April last year, during their first appearance in court, they received nothing. 

As time went by and after threatening legal action, only portions of the docket were handed to them. Although they were allowed to look at some of the contents, they were denied copies of it.

It is believed that part B, which they were denied up to now, contained important internal memos and letters between various stakeholders within Sars, including its former head Tom Moyane.

It was in fact on the insistence of Moyane that the three are now facing criminal charges.

While the State now eventually agreed to give the defence a copy of these documents, the latter had to give an undertaking that it will not leak the contents to the media.

Lawrence Hodes SC, who represents the three, also applied to the court to find that there was an undue delay in the criminal case.

Hodes said it has taken more than 10 years since the alleged commission of the offenses for which they are now being charged.  It is also now more than three years after the investigation into the charges had begun.

The three were only charged in March last year and they have up to now appeared six times in court. Hodes said it is clear that the State was the author of all these delays.

The State, who also delayed Thursday’s proceedings as the matter had to stand down for hours so that they could draw up an agreement, asked that the issue of undue delay should be postponed to June, as they were not ready to argue it.

Judge Jody Kollapen agreed to this.

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