Sars reports false, defamatory - lawyer

2014-08-11 18:54

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Johannesburg - The lawyer who laid a complaint against Sars group executive Johann van Loggenberg after their relationship ended has called media reports false and defamatory.

"I take exception to the vulgar nature of the reports and specifically state that the manner in which the reports are written was designed to cast me in a poor light and cause the maximum amount of damage to my good name and reputation," attorney Belinda Walter said in a statement, referring to the media.

"I also place on record that a job offer was withdrawn this morning as a result of your defamatory and false articles."

According to City Press, the relationship between the two had gone sour when Van Loggenberg discovered that Walter was acting as a lawyer for the alleged tobacco smugglers he and the SA Revenue Service (Sars) were investigating for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

Walter reportedly confessed to Van Loggenberg that she was also working as a spy for a unit of the State Security Agency (SSA).

The couple broke up in May this year and Van Loggenberg went through hundreds of text messages he helped her retrieve as a favour and started to piece together the existence of a special operations unit (SOU) within the SSA, according to the newspaper.

The unit, which reportedly operated from a house in Pretoria east, had worked with the alleged tobacco smugglers. Convicted drug trafficker Glen Agliotti who testified against former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi allegedly recruited the smugglers.

The group also allegedly had a hand in trying to reinstate former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and the ousting of National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, and replacing Sars top management.

Walter laid a complaint with Sars against Van Loggenberg reportedly calling him "mentally ill, unstable, corrupt".

Complaint withdrawn

Sars confirmed the complaint had been lodged but said Walter had withdrawn it "without prejudice" once she refused to put her allegations into a sworn affidavit.

Walter on Monday denied that she had withdrawn the complaint. She also denied that she had been part of any special unit.

"I am not and have never been involved with any 'SOU' unit of the SSA and do not have any knowledge whatsoever of its existence."

She said she had evidence that Van Loggenberg had "groomed" her through the use of her communications, intercepted by Sars, and she had laid a complaint with the Hawks against him and the revenue services.

The attorney said she had already sent all her communication devices to the Hawks for "independent and credible securing" of all data and information. Walter claimed this was because she knew Van Loggenberg and Sars would deny or fabricate evidence.

She also denied having any involvement with Agliotti or in projects involving Breytenbach and Mdluli.

"I will not be swayed or 'broken' by the numerous attacks against me... I am steadfast in my convictions and have always been.

"I would request that you allow the criminal investigation to be conducted and allow the civil action to commence at which time, all relevant documents, evidence and information will fall within the public domain," Walter said.

Read more on:    sars  |  johannesburg  |  media

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