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Mkhwebane, former Sars officials meet over Gordhan's approval of Pillay payout

The advocate called for the meeting to interview them about Minister Pravin Gordhan's approval of Ivan Pillay's early retirement.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

PRETORIA - Four former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials have concluded their meeting with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, but the details of the discussions have not been disclosed.

The advocate called for the meeting to interview them about Minister Pravin Gordhan's approval of Ivan Pillay's early retirement.

Pillay and Gordhan were charged with fraud and corruption in 2016 related to the pension payout but the charges were later withdrawn when evidence revealed no wrong-doing.

The Public Protector’s Oupa Segalwe declined to comment on the nature of the meetings, saying only that they relate to an ongoing investigation which they don’t want to jeopardise.

The officials called to be interviewed are Pillay, former commissioner Oupa Magashula, Sars head of legal Vlok Symington and Minee Hendricks, who was Gordhan’s personal assistant at the Revenue Service.

Former prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams withdrew criminal charges related to the pension payout against Gordhan and Pillay in October 2016 found there was no case to prosecute.

The following month, a complaint was filed with the Public Protector where it was alleged that the approval of Pillay’s early retirement amounted to maladministration, as well as dishonest and improper conduct by Gordhan in dealing with public funds.

Gordhan was subpoenaed to the Public Protectors’ office in November last year.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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