SARS to proceed with Symington disciplinary action

Cape Town – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will proceed with the investigation and disciplinary action into legal expert Vlok Symington, it said on Friday.

This follows a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria, which dismissed a bid by Symington, who was allegedly held hostage by the Hawks, to interdict his disciplinary hearing.

Judge Hans Fabricius on Friday ruled that Symington had failed to make out a case for an interim interdict. Symington was also ordered to pay costs.

In his urgent application last week, Symington told the court that he should be protected as a whistleblower.

SARS said in a statement on Friday that it welcomes the judgment.

“SARS is of the view that the judgment vindicates the organisation’s long held view that the investigation and disciplinary action against Mr Symington was lawful and fair,” it said. “Thus SARS will continue with disciplinary action against Mr Symington.”

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane did not lay charges against former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and thus victimise Symington for being a political whistleblower, SARS explained.

“This was a blatant misrepresentation of facts and unsubstantiated rumours that perpetuate a negative narrative that blemishes the integrity of SARS,” it said.

“It is a matter of public record that the alleged ‘hostage incident’ was reported widely and prominently in the media to perpetuate a narrative of Mr Symington’s political victimisation,” it said. “SARS wishes to appeal to the media to uphold the highest standards of factual, fair and accurate reportage.

“Furthermore, SARS is deeply concerned about apparent bias, irresponsible and mischievous attitude to cast aspersions on the character of the organisation to perpetuate a negative narrative of an organisation that does not uphold the rule of law with proper governance processes.

“With this in mind, SARS wishes to assert that the organisation remains resolute, focused and single-minded about meeting our revenue collection target for South Africa and wishes the more than 14 500 men and women who are the backbone of the organisation for their resilience.” 

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