Top Sars employees suspended over rogue unit

The unit was accused of trying to infiltrate the ANC by getting its agents to act as bodyguards.

FILE: Sars has suspended Ivan Pillay and Peter Richer. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane has announced that he has suspended deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay and the organisation's strategic planning and risk executive Peter Richer over a rogue unit that tried to gather intelligence on other organs of state.

The unit was accused of trying to infiltrate the African National Congress by getting its agents to act as bodyguards for the organisation.

Moyane says he's now received the report of an investigation headed by advocate Muzi Sikhakhane that found a covert unit had been set up within Sars unlawfully.

The investigating panel says the people it interviewed first lied about the unit and some of the other role players in the unit continued to lie even when they had gathered other evidence.

It says its imperative Sars employees realise they cannot engage in intelligence gathering as that is not their role.

The panel also says Sars must make sure the unit is disbanded as quickly as possible.