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Former Sars officials threaten legal action over saga

They claim their reputations have been tainted because of the probe into the so-called rogue unit.

Peter Richer and Ivan Pillay. Picture: Gallo Images/City Press/Elizabeth Sejake.

CAPE TOWN - Former senior revenue service officials have threatened legal action, claiming their reputations have been besmirched as a result of the saga around the probe into a controversial South African Revenue Service (Sars) unit.

Ivan Pillay and Peter Richter were first suspended from Sars before eventually resigning last year, after an investigation into the high risk investigation unit, led by the Hawks, was launched.

They say to date, all investigations that have been instituted against them have never afforded them a fair opportunity to be heard or to have their side of the story represented.

They were responding to a briefing yesterday by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and State Security Minister David Mahlobo, where they gave an update on the investigation.

In their statements, the former Sars employees dismiss the police's investigation into the controversial unit, saying it has always operated within the confines of the law.

Pillay and Richter say Nhleko's decision to hold a media briefing is a violation of their rights to dignity.

Meanwhile, Johann van Loggenberg maintains he never broke any laws, and that a major newspaper was used by those planting false information about him.

They would also like the police to explain exactly what law has been broken, if any.