SECRETS AND LIES
Van Loggerenberg lodges complaint about classified report distributed by EFF’s Floyd Shivambu
Former SARS official Johann van Loggerenberg, one of several civil servants targeted by suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has lodged a formal complaint with the Registrar of Parliament.
In a statement on Sunday, former SARS official Johann van Loggerenberg said evidence that Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu had handed a 2014 classified Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence (OIGI) report to Mkhwebane as far back as 2018, rendered Shivambu a “rogue” member of Parliament.
“We cannot have a situation where rogue members of Parliament abuse their platform and taxpayer-funded activities to break the country’s laws,” said Van Loggerenberg.
He said evidence given on 25 August by Ponatshego Mogaladi, the former executive manager of investigations in the Public Protector’s office, directly implicated Shivambu “in rogue and illegal activities”.
“I have today lodged a formal complaint with the Registrar of Parliament, as provided for in a process for this purpose and as is my right,” said Van Loggerenberg.
Mogaladi testified that it was Shivambu who had emailed and WhatsApped the classified report to her after he had lodged a complaint with the Public Protector.
The report originated on instruction from the former minister of state security David Mahlobo, who requested that the then intelligence inspector-general, Faith Radebe, investigate the State Security Agency (SSA) and its Special Operations Unit (SOU) which had been implicated in an attack on the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
“That document [the report] caused untold harm to people and institutions and had been kept away from the very people who would have been able to dispose of it, had they been afforded sight of it,” said Van Loggerenberg.
The Radebe report on which Mkhwebane built her SARS “rogue unit” case targeting former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan as well as Van Loggerenberg and other officials, has been declared null and void by the courts.
Mkhwebane went to extraordinary lengths in an attempt to get the Radebe report declassified so that it could be weaponised. She even visited the then inspector-general (IG) of intelligence, Setlhomamaru Dintwe, attempting to strong-arm his office into releasing it to her.
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In a meeting in 2019, Mkhwebane informed the inspector-general and his officials that the report “had been dropped off in the foyer” of her offices in Pretoria. She continued to maintain that she had never been in possession of the classified report.
However, after Mogaladi’s evidence proved that Mkhwebane did indeed have a copy of the IG’s report, Mkhwebane turned the argument on its head.
Replying to questions from Section 194 committee members, Mkhwebane stated that she had top-secret clearance and that there was nothing in law that prevented her from being in possession of the document. That she received it from Shivambu, an MP, is the issue Van Loggerenberg has taken to Parliament.
Report ‘illegally and unlawfully’ distributed
Van Loggerenberg said Shivambu would have been “unlawfully and illegally placed in possession of the IGI SSA SOU report as far back as 8 December 2018.
“How he then came to be in unlawful and illegal possession of this report, only he can (and should) answer to and account for publicly. It would also mean that Mr Shivambu then, once in unlawful and illegal possession of the IGI SSA SOU report, went one step further and illegally and unlawfully distributed the report via WhatsApp text to the Office of the Public Protector.”
Shivambu, added Van Loggerenberg, and by implication, others who had “received and used these classified records in a secretive manner, with total disregard for the rights of current and former civil servants and their families, acted at worst illegally and at best unlawfully”.
This could not be left “unchallenged for the sake of the integrity of our Parliament and its members, and to protect the rights of all those that had been affected”.
He said it was a matter of public interest and in the pursuance of justice that MPs “behave (and be seen to behave) beyond reproach. Where some do not, it is incumbent upon us all, regardless of who we are, to take a stand against it.”
Van Loggerenberg said the parliamentary process afforded Shivambu a period of seven days in which to reply, after which the relevant authority within Parliament needed to decide on the matter.
“I have asked to be afforded a right of reply to Mr Shivambu’s response. I have reserved my rights to take the matter further at any necessary and relevant platform if need be,” said Van Loggerenberg. DM