Sars 'rogue unit' reports: Former Sunday Times journalist apologises to Johann van Loggerenberg

Johan van Loggerenberg.
Johan van Loggerenberg.

Former Sunday Times senior journalist Malcolm Rees has apologised to former South African Revenue Services (Sars) executive Johann van Loggerenberg over the controversial so-called rogue unit reports published by that newspaper in 2014.

In a letter seen by News24, Rees denies ever branding Van Loggerenberg as a former apartheid police agent.

Rees begins his apology by saying he has seen recent media reports branding Van Loggerenberg as an apartheid-era spy. 

READ: Ex-SARS exec to 'rogue unit' journalist: 'My life is destroyed'

Rees claimed that his articles had been edited and had been different to the final draft that left the inbox of his then-direct editor, Rob Rose, hours before it went to print. 

Rees said he looked forward to the Sanef panel into media and state capture.

Van Loggerenberg told News24 he has accepted Rees' apology.

"He sent me a personal apology. I have accepted his apology," he said.

READ: NPA head to review prosecution of SARS 'Sunday Evenings' trio

Van Loggerenberg, Ivan Pillay and Andries Janse van Rensburg are expected to appear in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on October 14.

The three former SARS employees face charges relating to "Project Sunday Evenings", an endeavour that allegedly involved the installation of covert cameras and microphones at the now dismantled Scorpions and NPA's head offices in Silverton, Pretoria, in 2007. 

The apology by Malcolm Rees to Johan van Loggerenb

The apology by Malcolm Rees to Johan van Loggerenberg. (Supplied) 

Reports of the bugging incident first emerged as part of a series of stories by the Sunday Times on the so-called "rogue unit" that operated at SARS between 2007 and 2014. The newspaper has since retracted and apologised for the reports.

The installation of the hidden cameras, which were remotely accessible, were conducted by now suspended SARS employee Helgard Lombard who is a state witness in the case against his former bosses. 

Pillay and Van Loggerenberg are accused by the NPA of "unauthorised gratification by a party to an employment relationship" for allegedly allowing Lombard to "keep" R100 000 from the installation project. 

Lombard, who has been on suspension since 2015, was paid R900 000 to install the cameras, and a further R250 000 for providing encrypted cellphones to members of the Scorpions, News24 understands.

The Scorpions' secret fund, known as the C-Fund, was used to pay Lombard for the work.

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