EFF releases classified intelligence report into SARS 'rogue' unit linked to Gordhan

2019-09-30 21:49
State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. (Gallo Images/Getty Images)

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. (Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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A classified report purporting to have found that the South African Revenue Services (SARS) had a "rogue unit" was leaked to the media by the EFF on Monday evening.

The 2014 inspector-general of intelligence (IGI) report was sent by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to a WhatsApp media group. 

This followed an Equality Court ruling earlier on Monday that dismissed Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's application to strike the IGI report, which was attached as an annexure in the EFF's court papers responding to the hate speech charges that he had laid against the red beret leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu.

READ: Dlodlo to head to court to remove classified intelligence report central to Public Protector's rogue unit investigation - report

In a statement, the EFF welcomed the court's dismissal of the strike-out application, which means the inspector-general of intelligence report remains part of the party's court papers.

"We welcome the opportunity given by this judgment for the IGI rogue unit report to be deliberated in the open public court," Ndlozi said in a statement earlier.

"Both a Chapter 9 institution, in the form of the Public Protector and a Chapter 11 institution in the form of the inspector-general of intelligence have found that Pravin Gordhan ran an illegal intelligence unit within SARS.

"They determined that he must be criminally prosecuted. Today's judgment is a victory of accountability against an individual who feels [he is] above the law."

READ MORE| SARS and the 'rogue' unit: the ultimate guide

Gordhan's attorney, Tebogo Malatji, confirmed to News24 the strike-out application had been dismissed, adding the court had not furnished reasons for the dismissal.

He said the strike-out application was made because the report was not relevant to the hate speech charges and it was not yet been established if the report was authentic and if it was, if it had been declassified.

The hate speech charges followed a scathing attack launched on Gordhan outside the venue, where he was testifying before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in November 2018.

At the time, Malema called Gordhan "corrupt", "a dog of white monopoly capital" and claimed he hated black people, News24 previously reported.

ALSO READ| Gordhan vs Malema: Equality Court to hear of alleged scathing attacks

Malatji added the lawful use of the report was still subject to another case involving Gordhan and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

This case relates to the review application of Mkhwebane's report into the SARS "rogue unit" in which she instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to discipline Gordhan for his authorisation of the establishment of the unit while he was SARS commissioner.

She found the unit to have been illegal, it engaged in illegal activities, and Gordhan lied about a meeting with a member of the Gupta family.

The review application, which was instituted by Gordhan, has not yet been heard.

Meanwhile, State Security Agency spokesperson Mava Scott said it would be going forward with its interlocutory application to have the IGI report struck from the EFF's court papers.

This after City Press reported on Sunday that State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo wanted to have the report removed from the EFF's court papers as it contained sensitive information.

"The report contains secret information exposing the identities of members and former intelligence members as well as methods of the agency, which is protected from publication by the law," Scott told the publication.

Read more on:    sars  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  ayanda dlodlo  |  pravin gordhan  |  politics  |  courts

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