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KPMG report into Sars ‘spy unit’ published with 'crucial disclaimer'

That report was supposed to clear up who was involved in what was claimed to be a secret spy unit.

FILE: Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that Moyane asked for legal opinion on whether he had to obey Gordhan’s order to stop his re-structuring plans. Picture: Sars.

JOHANNESBURG - As the South African Revenue Service (Sars) maintains its silence over claims that its commissioner Tom Moyane wants to defy Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over restructuring plans, it's emerged a report aimed at clearing up issues around a spy unit has been published with a crucial disclaimer.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that Moyane asked for legal opinion on whether he had to obey Gordhan's order to stop his restructuring plans.

An earlier investigation instigated by Moyane reportedly suggested he had been involved in illegally setting up the spy unit used by Sars.

Another investigation into the unit also led to the departure of former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and spokesperson Adrian Lackay.

In reply to detailed questions about whether Moyane wants to press ahead with his restructuring of Sars, despite Gordhan's objections, Sars says Moyane will now apply his mind to the KPMG report.

That report was supposed to clear up who was involved in what was claimed to be a secret spy unit.

But it's now been issued with a disclaimer by KPMG, saying the report cannot be used to settle any dispute or controversy.

Attorney Mohamed Husain, representing Pillay and Lackay, says that disclaimer could point to what exactly KPMG was asked to investigate.

"My clients understand that KPMG was instructed not to communicate with my clients."

Pillay and Johan van Loggenberg's lawyers have questioned the credibility of the latest report by KPMG.

Husain says his clients have still not been interviewed about their alleged role in setting up the unit and directing its operations.

Meanwhile, the forensic auditor in charge of that investigation, Johan van der Walt, says he simply cannot talk about the case, which means as yet there's no explanation as to why he issued the report with the disclaimer.

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