I breathed a sigh of relief - former SARS commissioner on summons

2016-10-11 11:58
Oupa Magashula. (Rapport, File)

Oupa Magashula. (Rapport, File)

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Johannesburg - Former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula told News24 that when he got his summons to appear in court early on Tuesday morning he "breathed a sigh of relief”. 

Magashula said while he would not comment on the actual charges he was facing, he would say that he was relieved that the whole SARS Rogue Unit saga would finally see its day in court. 

It has been hanging over him for too long he said. 

“This has had a devastating effect on the economy and we need the stability of this finally being faced head on,” Magashula said. He said that he respected the law and had enough faith in the justice system to believe this case would be treated fairly. 

“This will give our families and our friends some certainty over what happened,” Magashula said.

“I don’t want to get into whether there was an agenda involved in charging us.”

He said he just wanted to go to court and face all the allegations that have been thrown his way over the past few years. 

“Let’s go to court on November 2, and I hope this gets over with quickly so that we can all have a good Christmas,” Magashula said.

Former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay told News24 that he did not know before NPA Shaun Abrahams started speaking on Tuesday morning that he was going to be charged. 

“There have been rumours for months that there would be a charge. People said it would happen, but it never did,” Pillay said. 

He said his lawyers would be issuing a statement later.

Abrahams said summons have been issued for Magashula, Pillay and Gordhan. The charges of fraud were in connection with the early retirement package that was granted to Pillay. 

The NPA found that Gordhan had approved the early retirement which had a penalty fee of R1 141 178.11 which the revenue services paid to the government's pension fund.

Abrahams said Magashula, as the finance officer at the time, had cost the revenue services an unnecessary expenditure.

At the time of the announcement, Gordhan was attending an Open Tender Seminar in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Gordhan said an official statement will be released by his lawyers regarding the summons, which has been issued 15 days before the mini budget.

“South Africans must ask who the Hawks are really serving?” said Gordhan.

Read more on:    sars  |  hawks  |  pravin gor­dhan  |  oupa magashula

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