First On EWN: Pillay, Richer cleared from Sars rogue unit scandal

EWN has learnt the panel investigating the matter made no findings against Ivan Pillay & Pete Richer.

FILE: Ivan Pillay. Picture: Twitter @Radio702.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt the panel that investigated claims of a rogue unit within the South African Revenue Service (Sars) made no findings against suspended deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and the organisation's head of strategic planning, Pete Richer.

On Friday, Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane said he was suspending the two based on the findings of the panel.

Earlier this year, Pillay himself set up the panel headed by advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, to investigate claims published in the Sunday Times that the unit had set up a brothel and tried to infiltrate the African National Congress (ANC).

The panel's attorney Imraan Mohamed says they investigated suspended Sars official Johann van Loggerenberg, but made no findings against Pillay or Richer.

"No such findings were made against any third party. So no findings were made against the deputy commissioner Mr Ivan Pillay or Mr Richer."

But he says Moyane is within his rights to suspend Pillay and Richer while he investigates further as he could decide to later lift their suspensions.

"Or to convene formal disciplinary proceedings with suspension continuing for the duration of disciplinary proceedings. There's nothing untoward in that regard."

Mohamed also says their investigation did not take testimony under oath as it was not a commission.