Former Sars spokesman faces R10m lawsuit

Sars & its Commissioner Thomas Moyane are suing Adrian Lackay for 'publishing confidential tax information'.

FILE: Adrian Lackay has confirmed he's being sued jointly by Sars and its Commissioner Thomas Moyane. Picture: Sars

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Monday it's demanding R10 million in damages from its former spokesperson Adrian Lackay because his actions in publishing confidential tax information may lead to some companies refusing to pay tax.

Lackay has confirmed he's being sued jointly by Sars and its Commissioner Thomas Moyane after writing a letter to two Parliamentary committees.

In that letter, he claims that British American Tobacco (BAT) may have broken the law and that the truth about the alleged rogue spy unit has not yet been told.

Sars said it wants R10 million from Lackay and is demanding another R2 million for Moyane.

The organisation's Luther Lebelo said what Lackay did could have hugely expensive implications for the revenue service.

"Once they lose confidence in our capacity to hold confidential information about them and they decide not to pay tax, that can go into billions of rands, which will not impact him as a person, but it will create debt for South Africa and the poor of this country."

But going to court could be risky for Sars.

It may give Lackay an opportunity to insist that he be given a chance to tell his full side of the story in public.

That may mean Moyane has to respond to Lackay's claim that he didn't properly investigate the alleged rogue spy unit.