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Lebelo: I only asked my attorney to retrieve files

South African Revenue Service executive Luther Lebelo says that he has asked an attorney who submitted an invoice for R750,000 to explain why he exceeded his mandate and did work he was not asked to do.

Senior Sars official Luther Lebelo at the Nugent commission fo inquiry on 27 September 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA - South African Revenue Service (Sars) executive Luther Lebelo says that he has asked an attorney who submitted an invoice for R750,000 to explain why he exceeded his mandate and did work he was not asked to do.

Lebelo testified at the Nugent commission of inquiry on Monday, where he rejected earlier claims that he had asked attorney David Maphakela to prepare documents for his own submissions at the commission.

Maphakela was also summonsed to the hearings yesterday but he declined to submit to oral evidence, saying that his affidavits should suffice.

Judge Robert Nugent warned him that he now faces possible criminal prosecution.

Evidence leader Carol Steinberg read from Maphakela’s invoice, which set out how he had reconstructed the case against former Sars employees linked to the so-called rogue unit.

Lebelo says that all he was asked to do was to retrieve the files.

"The part that is the problem is he went and listened to audio, he went and did the following things [sic]. My understanding was that the hearing was about to be sitting, you've got a file with the evidence and you are ready to prosecute and that is the file that you wanted. You didn't want reconstruction of the files, that is not what I understood [sic]."

Consultancy firm Gartner is scheduled to testify today.