Suspended South African Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and strategic planning risk group executive Peter Richer have resigned from Sars with immediate effect.Sars spokesperson Luther Lebelo said this morning that the revenue service had accepted their resignations, and described the parting of ways as “amicable”. “Sars acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of Mr Pillay and Mr Richer during their years of service in Sars and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.” The dramatic announcement came after a protracted and acrimonious disciplinary process for Pillay and Richer. Sars was also considering laying criminal charges against Pillay following the conclusion of the work of an advisory panel headed by Judge Frank Kroon. The panel was appointed by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Last week, the panel recommended that some matters pertaining to the formation of a so-called illegal rogue spy unit at Sars be referred to the police for investigation, and that those found to have broken the law should be swiftly charged. At the same time, forensic auditors at KPMG were conducting a parallel investigation, which City Press has learnt had uncovered a number of other irregularities allegedly committed by senior Sars employees. However, Lebelo said this morning that “all charges and related investigations” against Pillay and Richer had “been withdrawn”. On Sunday, City Press reported that Sars lawyers were this week going to write to Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan, insisting that he testify at Pillay’s disciplinary hearing presided over by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo. The letter was sent on Wednesday, but it would not be acted upon because the disciplinary process was no longer going ahead. City Press also reported that nine additional charges had been added to Pillay’s disciplinary charge sheet, and his hearing was due to begin later this month. A senior source within Sars told City Press last week that if Gordhan declined to appear before the disciplinary panel, Sars would assume he approved of the formation of the rogue spy unit. Two other senior Sars sources familiar with the matter told City Press the tax collector’s lawyers had been battling to get Gordhan to testify against his former deputy commissioner. Last month, City Press reported that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was involved in negotiating an exit deal for Pillay. Pillay and Richer join a list of people who have left the revenue collector since the exodus of staff following allegations of a rogue unit operating within it. They include former chief operating officer Barry Hore; modernisation and strategy head Jérôme Frey; the head of the case selection division under Hore, Jacques Meyer; anticorruption and security head Clifford Collings; investigations head Johann van Loggerenberg; Pillay’s special adviser Yolisa Pikie; and spokespeople Adrian Lackay and Marika Muller.