NPA drops all charges against so-called Sars rogue unit_1

The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, has dropped charges against former officials at the South African Revenue Services (Sars) who were accused of being part of the so-called ‘rogue unit’.


In a statement issued on Friday 7 February
2020, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Batohi decided to withdraw charges
against Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse Van Rensburg and Johan Van Loggerenberg.


“The NDPP has informed relevant prosecutors and the lawyers representing the accused of this decision”, said NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke.


The charges against the trio were in
relation to the bugging of the Scorpions in 2007 and the set-up of an illegal
unit – known as the ‘rogue unit’ – to solely spy on taxpayers.

Sars
‘rogue unit’ off the hook


Pillay and Van Loggerenberg were also charged with contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.


The essential allegations are that Pillay
and Van Loggerenberg, whilst in the employ of SARS gave, or agreed to give, to
a certain individual (name withheld) an unauthorized gratification of
approximately R100 000 in cash, in relation to the exercise or performance of
the said individual’s powers duties and functions within the scope of his
employment relationship.

A Panel is appointed to review the
matter


In the alternate charge, Pillay and Van
Loggerenberg are alleged to have given, or agreed to give to the said
individual, an illegal gratification.


“This matter has since been the subject of
protracted litigation and communication between the defence and the NPA.


“Following the defense submitting representations to the NDPP in support of a request to have the decision to prosecute reviewed, the NDPP appointed a review panel to consider the matter, and to provide her with an opinion and recommendations ,” Makeke said.


The panel subsequently completed its work
and submitted a report to Batohi.


“After a careful assessment of the evidence
and other relevant material, the unanimous conclusion of the panel in respect
of all counts, is that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful
prosecution. The panel recommends that all charges against the accused be
withdrawn.”


“In line with the above, the NDPP has carefully considered the Panel’s report, the evidence and other relevant material, and held discussions with the panel. The NDPP agrees with the Panel that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution in this matter”, Makeke further said.


They were expected to appear in court on 17
February 2020.