The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has possibly colluded with the Hawks to manipulate the highly questionable 2016 investigation into Pravin Gordhan and then deputy SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement. Now tax boss Tom Moyane is seeking retribution: Vlok Symington, the SARS official who unwittingly ousted the scam and helped it go up in flames, is on the verge of being forced into an illegal disciplinary hearing. Court documents filed by Symington reveal the conspiracy. BY PAULI VAN WYK.
Vlok Symington is the SARS legal expert who was the victim of a “hostage” drama in the SARS offices in October 2016. At the time, Mail & Guardian revealed how Symington was held against his will by SARS boss Tom Moyane’s bodyguard and Hawks officials because Moyane didn’t want South Africans to know that SARS’ own lawyers were of the opinion that the prosecution of Gordhan was ethically dubious.
The same Symington on Thursday filed two affidavits along with a myriad annexures in court that paint a picture of a conspiracy cooked up by SARS and the Hawks to “defeat the ends of justice by seeking to manipulate the investigation process” into Gordhan. From Friday Daily Maverick will unpack Symington’s explosive claims in a series of stories to be published over the coming week.
In his affidavits Symington has asked the court urgently to protect him from Moyane’s wrath which resulted in an unlawful disciplinary process and probable dismissal from SARS.
He further asked the court to declare certain disclosures he made to the NPA and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) a “protected disclosure” under the Protected Disclosures Act of 2000. These disclosures entail how Moyane, with the help of his bodyguard and other SARS officials, possibly colluded with officials in the Hawks to target Gordhan unfairly, withhold exculpable information from the NPA and how this resulted in a “hostage” situation.
Symington’s urgent application will be heard in the middle of September.
“I believe that I inadvertently find myself at the centre of the political storm surrounding Minister Gordhan, and the broader issue of state capture,” Symington said in his affidavit. DM
Photo: NPA head Shaun Abrahams (GCIS), Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan (Greg Nicolson / Daily Maverick), SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane (GCIS)