SARS: Criminal charges would have no basis in fact or law - Ivan Pillay

Former Deputy Commissioner says those driving the prosecution have no regard for the likely consequences

Comment to the Media by Ivan Pillay

I have not received formal notice of criminal proceedings against me by any law enforcement agency.

In March this year the Ministers of State Security and Police confirmed to the media that the SARS Commissioner had instituted a criminal complaint against me and other SARS officials in May 2015, after I had reached settlement and resigned from SARS.

The explicit condition of the settlement agreement with SARS was that “the parting of ways is mutually beneficial.” In a media statement, announcing my resignation on 7 May 2015, SARS stated: “All SARS initiated charges and related investigations have been withdrawn.” See – here.

It does seem that the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DCPCI), “the Hawks”, and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have been pursuing the criminal investigation against us based on the SARS complaint (see Sunday Times report).

Following the media briefing by the two Ministers in March this year, my lawyers wrote to the Hawks offering full assistance with any investigation into any SARS matters. Without addressing the merits of potential and, as yet, unknown charges against me and others, I have for the past two years emphatically denied that SARS operated a “rogue” intelligence unit within its enforcement divisions that contravened the laws of our country.

I will continue to deny such allegations and will defend myself before court against such charges, which has no basis in fact and in law.

It is apparent that, for those driving this prosecution, there is one principal objective – to remove and punish those who are seen to stand in their way. Clearly, there is no consideration for the consequences – politically or economically - of such actions on our country.

Statement issued on behalf of Mr Ivan Pillay, former Deputy Commissioner for SARS, 15 May 2016