Former Sars executives released on warning
Pretoria - The Pretoria Magistrate's Court released former South African Revenue Services (Sars) executives Ivan Pillay (64)‚ Johann van Loggerenberg (49) and Andries Janse van Rensburg (53) on warning after being summoned to court this morning for alleged corruption and contravention of the Rica Act.
Black First Land First, (BLF) members gathered outside the court to demonstrate against the trio they labelled ‘agents of white monopoly capital’. They accused the trio of forming part of the ‘rogue unit’ narrative that was allegedly led by Pravin Gordhan and funded by white monopoly capital.
The trio’s spokesperson, Bernard Hortz, told media that his clients were prepared to go through trial as per the law and that was the reason they brought themselves to court after receiving summons. He welcomed interjections from BLF members during his media briefing as part of freedom of speech.
Pillay‚ van Loggerenberg and Janse van Rensburg would return to court on June 18 for their alleged bugging of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) offices in 2007.
They were served with a pending indictment in the courtroom to complement the summons. The allegations of bugging of the NPA surfaced in the controversial KPMG report, which retracted some of its parts. The company later refunded Sars R23-million that was paid for the report.
Prosecutor advocate Sello Maema recommended that the accused be released on R5 000 bail but the court did not see the need for such action. This was because the trio had not been reluctant to appear in court. In fact, Pillay and Janse van Rensburg were outside South Africa when the summons were served at their residences but they still attended court.
NPA spokesperson Phindile Louw said she could not rule out the possibility of the NPA implicating more suspects in the case for their involvement.
“The state enrolled this matter in court because there were some criminal elements acknowledged. I can confidently say that there were no external forces outside of the NPA that are making all this happen,” she explained.
Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane laid the initial complaint against the trio but was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa last march. He was removed for poorly handling the disciplinary case against Jonas Makwakwa at Sars. Makwakwa resigned in March.