Gordhan case led to 'hostage situation' at Sars

A report suggests that a Sars employee was held against his will at the revenue service's offices.

FILE: Sars. Picture: Sars.

JOHANNESBURG - It's emerged that a string of emails involving the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority case against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has led to an alleged "hostage drama" at the revenue service's Pretoria offices.

The Mail and Guardian is reporting that it's seen cellphone clips of an altercation between Sars employee Vlok Symington, four Hawks officials and Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's body guard, which happened last week.

Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, the Hawks lead investigator against Gordhan, was reportedly among them.

Gordhan was charged with fraud by the NPA two weeks ago for approving the early retirement of Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay six years ago.

The decision to charge Gordhan has been highly criticised with several ministers, former ministers struggle stalwarts and the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa publicly supporting Gordhan.

According to the M&G, Symington, who is employed in the revenue service's legal division, was allegedly held in a boardroom against his will.

Symington was apparently being prevented from leaving even though he repeatedly asked whether he was being held hostage.

This incident was allegedly sparked by an email that Moyane shared by mistake, the email centred around a disagreement regarding Gordhan's prosecution.

One of the mails related to a question Symington was asked in 2009 on whether the revenue service was allowed to agree to Pillay's early retirement request.

The report says Symington's legal opinion on the matter was that there was no technicality that prevented Sars from reappointing Pillay and he was entitled to request Gordhan to waive the early retirement.