SARS 'Sunday Evenings' case postponed

Attorney Bernard Hotz says representations to be considered by NDPP Shamila Batohi run to 4 000 pages

SARS 'Sunday Evenings' case postponed, while Batohi considers representations

The State's case against three former South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials has been postponed to February next year, to allow for the new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi to review the decision to prosecute.

"The matter was postponed to give the NDPP sufficient time to consider very lengthy recommendations from my clients. A complete story has been told with enough evidence. I can tell you, the representations to be considered are 4 000 pages with annexures. This is simply to afford the NDPP's office time to consider these representations," attorney Bernard Hotz told the media outside the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday morning.

Former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and former enforcement executives Johann van Loggerenberg and Andries "Skollie" Janse van Rensburg are charged with offences relating to the bugging of the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) offices in 2007, Fin24 earlier reported.

This became known as the "Sunday Evenings" project, in which the three men allegedly installed covert bugs in 2007 at the then-Scorpions and NPA head offices in Silverton, Pretoria.

Fin24 further reported that the installations were conducted by suspended SARS employee, Helgard Lombard, who turned state witness in the case.

The case against the three was opened in March last year by axed SARS commissioner Tom Moyane.

City Press reported on Sunday that the NPA was probably going to drop the matter.

According to the report, Batohi is expected to consider recommendations of a review panel which was tasked to look into the prospect of success in the case.

"Without wishing to be prescriptive, the representations are compelling. There is detail added that ought to illustrate that this matter should have never been brought to the court in the first place," Hotz explained.

Hotz further added that the NPA is yet to submit relevant documentation, such as further particulars and the docket.

All three accused are out on warning.

The matter has been postponed to February 17, 2020, for the outcome of representations made to the NDPP.