SARS rogue unit: 'Pravin Gordhan was definitely aware of it'

Advocate Belinda Walter - now well-known as the woman who initially brought allegations of the South African Revenue Service (SARS)'s rogue unit and laid a complaint against the parastal's group executive Johann van Loggerenberg after their relationship ended in May last year - has hit with another bomb.

Initially denied by SARS some time ago, the rogue unit in question was said to have been involved in a series of illegal transactions.

A panel set up and headed by Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane to investigate the matter found prima facie evidence (sufficient evidence, as it's presented) that SARS' rogue unit spied on taxpayers it was investigating, including some it had cut deals with. The result is that all deals reached in the past 10 years could be up for review, with potentially damaging consequences for SARS.

Read more on SARS' rogue unit and it's links to the State Security Agency here.

Walter claims that then head of SARS Pravin Gordhan knew of this unit's existence, further stating reasons for her exposure of it:

I laid a complaint against Loggerenberg at the end of May and more people from SARS added to this. What I became aware of during the relationship (with Loggerenberg) is that my own communication had been intercepted by SARS for 3 years and there was a specific agenda he had in mind. I did have a historic relationship with the SSA (State Security Agency), but not at the time. (The unit) was a very small element within SARS and it was hidden within SARS; they didn't operate within SARS offices and 90% of SARS employees weren't aware of it. I can not speak about Trevor Manuel; in documents I have said that Pravin Gordhan was definitely aware of it.

SARS' response meanwhile isn't to deny the unit's existence, but to note that neither the Minister at the time Trevor Manuel, nor Pravin Gordhan (who was SARS head at a point, later becoming Finance Minister) and nor the last head of SARS Oupa Magashula were notified of the unit's existence or included in the investigation. SARS Employee Relations Executive Luther Lebelo says this is the approach SARS has taken, despite this allegations dating as far back as 2009:

We didn't raise it with any of them, but the allegations raised are not without substance. But why should I speak to them, to do what? They are not part of the allegations. The Sikhakhane Report doesn't say that the Ministers and Mr Magashula did anything wrong. They are saying that the unit that was established by Mr Pillay (suspend SARS Deputy Commissioner, Ivan Pillay) in 2007 ran a rogue unit, a covert unit. The people that were in there were recruited without following SARS procedure, therefore that is the investigation that we are busy with.


This article first appeared on 702 : SARS rogue unit: 'Pravin Gordhan was definitely aware of it'


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

SABC's leadership and parliament has come under fire since the inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

John Robbie's 30-year run in radio has come to an end with friends, callers and colleagues wishing him a heartfelt goodbye.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

Lecturer at TUT's Dept of Tourism, Unathi Henama says that the tourism sector is at the center of the economic policies in SA.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

Does the public trust the media? This caller doesn't

Does the public trust the media? This caller doesn't

A caller on The Eusebius Mckaiser Show discusses whether they think SA media is credible or not.

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

Naked Scientist, Chris Smith shares his insights on some of the risks associated with smoking marijuana.

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv has lost about 140 000 Premium subscribers to Netflix over the past two years, tech expert Arthur Goldstuck.

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

Spokesperson for Education department says the fact that this learner is still in Grade 10 at 17 may indicate there is a problem.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.