Al­leged spy­ing at Sars probed

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

THE SA Rev­enue Ser­vice con­firmed yes­ter­day that its com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane was study­ing two re­ports into al­le­ga­tions of il­le­gal spy­ing at the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“The Sars com­mis­sioner has in­di­cated he is study­ing the find­ings of both re­ports and will, in con­sul­ta­tions with the min­is­ter of fi­nance, make the re­port of the Sikhakhane Panel pub­lic in due course,” said Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay.

He said Moy­ane had re­ceived the re­ports – one from the in­spec­tor-gen­eral for in­tel­li­gence ser­vices and the other from an in­de­pen­dent panel of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, headed by ad­vo­cate Muzi Sikhakhane – early this month.

Pre­vi­ously, Lackay said the panel, es­tab­lished in Septem­ber, had been tasked to in­ves­ti­gate “whether there were breaches in law from the ac­tions of any cur­rent or for­mer Sars of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing the il­le­gal in­ter­cep­tion and mon­i­tor­ing of com­mu­ni­ca­tions”.

Sars has been at the cen­tre of re­ports about an al­legedly rogue in­tel­li­gence unit that was set up in 2007.

Over the past few weeks, the Sun­day Times has re­ported on al­le­ga­tions that the unit had been in­volved in set­ting up a brothel in Dur­ban as a cover for of­fi­cials work­ing from home; had spied on a wide range of peo­ple, in­clud­ing taxi hit­men, druglo­rds, cig­a­rette and abalone smug­glers, Sars of­fi­cials and politi­cians; and that some Sars of­fi­cials were in­fil­trated into the ANC as body­guards.

Sars also con­firmed that Moy­ane had sus­pended the role of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee as an ad­vi­sory body to the com­mis­sioner.

Sars de­clined to com­ment in de­tail on a re­port in City Press that Moy­ane had sus­pended Jo­han van Loggen­berg – ap­par­ently the head of the in­tel­li­gence unit at one stage – last week.

Mean­while, the DA said it would re­quest that Moy­ane ap­pear be­fore the fi­nance port­fo­lio com­mit­tee to ta­ble the re­port. – Sapa

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