Alleged spying at Sars probed
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