Spy love gets ugly

CityPress - - News - JAC­QUES PAUW in­ves­ti­ga­tions@me­dia24.com

The lurid ro­mance between SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) ex­ec­u­tive Jo­han van Loggen­berg and Pre­to­ria lawyer and al­leged spy Belinda Wal­ter has taken a new turn, with court pa­pers de­scrib­ing her behaviour as un­eth­i­cal and “un­speak­able”.

Wal­ter­isatthe­cen­tre­o­fas­can­dal­in­volv­ing rogue agents of the State Se­cu­rity Agency (SSA) who al­legedly tried to dis­credit Van Loggen­berg, Sars’ in­ves­ti­ga­tions head.

Three af­fi­davits filed this month be­fore the North Gaut­eng High Court re­veal that Wal­ter called a meet­ing in Fe­bru­ary with di­rec­tors of a to­bacco com­pany to smear Van Loggen­berg. At the time, Van Loggen­berg and his Sars team were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the to­bacco firm for tax eva­sion.

This month, City Press re­ported that Wal­ter (41) was an SSA agent and so­licited an af­fair with Van Loggen­berg to in­fil­trate and dis­grace him. She also had af­fairs with sev­eral to­bacco in­dus­try clients and her SSA han­dlers, ap­par­ently in an at­tempt to so­licit in­for­ma­tion from them.

Wal­ter, how­ever, de­nied be­ing an SSA agent and slammed City Press’ re­port­ing as out­landish, ridicu­lous and spu­ri­ous. But she failed to re­spond to re­quests for com­ment on the af­fi­davits filed on Au­gust 6.

In court pa­pers, Wal­ter is ac­cused of breach­ing at­tor­ney-client priv­i­lege in the “gravest man­ner pos­si­ble”. Her ac­tions are de­scribed as “un­law­ful”, “wrong” and “il­le­gal”. The Law So­ci­ety of the North­ern Prov­inces con­firmed this week it is deal­ing with a com­plaint about her al­legedly un­eth­i­cal behaviour.

The af­fi­davits say Wal­ter was in­volved in both in­dus­trial and state es­pi­onage, and sold con­fi­den­tial client in­for­ma­tion.

Kyle Phillips, a direc­tor of cig­a­rette com­pany Carnil­inx, says he re­ceived a mes­sage from Wal­ter on Jan­uary 31 ask­ing for an ur­gent meet­ing. Wal­ter was Carnil­inx’s at­tor­ney un­til Novem­ber last year.

That month, Wal­ter and Van Loggen­berg be­gan a re­la­tion­ship and when he dis­cov­ered she acted for the same to­bacco com­pa­nies Sars was in­ves­ti­gat­ing, he asked her to re­sign.

On Jan­uary 31, Wal­ter and Van Loggen­berg had an ar­gu­ment. Phillips and two of his di­rec­tors, Adri­ano Maz­zotti and Mo­ham­madh Sayed, and a se­nior ad­vo­cate of the Jo­han­nes­burg Bar met Wal­ter the fol­low­ing af­ter­noon.

All three of them say Wal­ter con­fessed to be­ing an SSA agent and ad­mit­ted she be­gan work­ing for the then Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency (NIA) in 2009. She also named her han­dlers, in­clud­ing for­mer NIA do­mes­tic chief Gib­son Njenje. And she told them she was paid in cash.

Theaf­fi­davitssayWal­ter­con­fessed­to­be­ing on the pay­roll of to­bacco gi­ant Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco (BAT) and pro­vid­ing con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion to them about her smaller clients. Phillips says Wal­ter told them BAT paid her al­most R900 000 for the in­for­ma­tion.

Maz­zotti said much of the meet­ing was about Van Loggen­berg’s al­legedly un­eth­i­cal behaviour. She claimed he used her to get in­for­ma­tion about Carnil­inx.

The af­fi­davits say Wal­ter said she was pre­pared to put ev­ery­thing in an af­fi­davit. She never did.

Wal­ter and Van Loggen­berg made up shortly af­ter­wards, and Wal­ter be­gan re­tract­ing ev­ery­thing she had said.

She sent text mes­sages to Van Loggen­berg, plead­ing for for­give­ness.

“I love you with all my heart. I feel so dis­gusted and dis­ap­pointed in my­self that not only did I be­tray you, but the types of things I said to those scum­bags. You should hate me,” she sent on Fe­bru­ary 2.

City Press un­der­stands Van Loggen­berg has ap­peared be­fore the in­spec­tor-gen­eral of in­tel­li­gence, and has pro­vided de­tails about the al­leged SSA dirty tricks campaign against him and other of­fi­cials.

State Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter David Mahlobo in­structed the in­spec­tor-gen­eral to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct by Wal­ter and other SSA agents.

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