Sars spy case to be moved to High Court

Ivan Pillay, Johan van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg are accused of spying on the Scorpions in 2007.

(From left) Andries Janse van Rensburg, Ivan Pillay and Johan van Loggerenberg in the Pretoria magistrates court on 9 April 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA – Three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials have appeared briefly in the Pretoria magistrates court where it emerged their case will be transferred to the High Court for trial.

Ivan Pillay, Johan van Loggerenberg and Andries Janse van Rensburg are accused of spying on the Scorpions in 2007.

The project was dubbed "Sunday Evenings" because the accused would allegedly call into the spying device on a Sunday night, and listen to recorded conversations.

While Pillay, Van Loggerenberg and Janse van Rensburg appeared in court in terms of summonses, State prosecutor Sello Maema asked the court to impose bail of R5,000 each.

Defence advocate Laurence Hodes disagreed with the imposition of bail, saying that two of the accused were abroad when they heard about the charges, and returned to South Africa in order to appear in court.

The magistrate dismissed the State’s application, saying that there was no evidence before the court indicating that they may abscond.

The matter has been postponed until June to allow the State to hand over required documentation, including the docket to the defence team.

Hodes told the court that they intend making representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in order to review the decision to prosecute.