Former SARS officials Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggenberg in court today. Picture: Zelda Venter

Pretoria - Former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials - then acting Commissioner Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg lost the first round in their bid to have charges relating to the so-called Rogue Unit, dropped against them.

The three turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, as they felt that there were undue delays in bringing their criminal  matter before the court.

The allegations surrounding the so-called rogue unit surfaced in 2007 and the trio were only charged in 2018. 

Since their first appearance in court more than a year ago, the three also battled to obtain the contents of the full docket from the prosecuting authority. 

They had turned to court on numerous occasions in a bid to obtain the full docket - the case against them - from the National Prosecuting Authority. 

The lawyer for the Sars officials speaks about the case. Video: Zelda Venter


They were given parts of the docket, but Van Loggerenberg on Thursday said that as things now stand, they are still waiting for the full docket.

They say that some parts of the docket appeared to be missing 

They argued that the delay in the criminal proceedings against them - from April 9 last year to date, has largely been due to the conduct of the NPA in refusing to provide them access to the full docket.

They pointed out that they did not ask for a permanent barof prosecution, but they asked that their case be strike from the roll. 

This would permit the prosecution to resume the case later, provided that the National Director of Public Prosecutions consented. 

They say this is not as far reaching as a permanent stay of prosecution.

The three are also in the process of launching further applications in the form of review proceedings relating to the decision to prosecute them.

They want the decision by the NDPP relating to the decision not to institute disciplinary proceedings against various prosecutors involved in this matter, reviewed and set aside.

They also want a review of the decision not to intervene in their prosecution in the face of what is described as “serious allegations of prosecutorial and investigative misconduct.” 

Judge Jody Kollapen, in turning down the application, said while there were some delays in this matter on the part of the state, it was of relatively short duration. 

He pointed out that the three former Sars officials planned to bring various review applications, which would inevitably also delay their criminal trial, which is back in court next month.

Pretoria News