Ex-SARS man Lackay's CCMA hearing continues

Johannesburg – The arbitration hearing brought by former SA Revenue Service (SARS) spokesperson Adrian Lackay to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) is set to continue on Monday.

Lackay previously argued that his working conditions became unbearable amid allegations by SARS commissioner Tom Moyane that an illegal, "rogue" spy unit had been set up by senior officials.

Despite CCMA hearings traditionally being closed to the public, the media was been granted access following a successful application lodged by Media24 and the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

The order was granted in the public interest after the media were barred from the preliminary hearing in September 2015. Lackay had not opposed the media application, though SARS had objected.

Lackay, who was employed for 11 years at SARS, has claimed that it he was forced to leave after it had become "untenable" to associate himself with the goings-on at the revenue service.

The rogue unit allegations led to former deputy SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay being suspended.

Lackay previously appeared at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria after Moyane and SARS resolved to sue him for defamation. SARS wants R10m in damages from him, and Moyane R2m.

Lackay’s lawyer advocate Max du Plessis previously said SARS, as an organ of State, could not be defamed. He argued for the matter to be struck off the roll.

William Mokhari, for SARS and Moyane, argued that if the reputations of "critical institutions" like SARS were dented, the economy would crumble.

"The statements that were made are defamatory. Calling the commissioner a liar is also defamatory. Who cares where he gets the money [R12m] from," Mokhari said.

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