Attorney pressured to change report on Sars hostage incident, says Symington

Vlok Symington told the state capture inquiry that the attorney was hired by Sars to investigate a grievance that he laid against then-Commissioner Tom Moyane’s bodyguard following the incident.

A screengrab of South African Revenue Service (Sars) employee Vlok Symington giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 24 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

CAPE TOWN - South African Revenue Service (Sars) employee Vlok Symington said that an independent attorney was pressurised by Sars officials to change his report in a bid to have him sacked.

Symington is the official who was held against his will by then-Commissioner Tom Moyane’s bodyguard in an incident involving other Sars officials in 2016.

Symington told the state capture inquiry that the attorney was hired by Sars to investigate a grievance that he laid against Moyane’s bodyguard following the incident.

The attorney’s initial report upheld Symington’s grievance, found against Moyane’s bodyguard and recommended further investigation into his conduct. But later, Symington became aware of an addendum report by the same attorney, which effectively cleared the bodyguard and recommended four serious charges against Symington.

Symington concluded that the addendum report was aimed at framing him: "Mr Mothle was in effect pressurised by Sars to change the outcome of his report and he then executed that."

He said that nobody had laid any complaints against him, nor was he interviewed afresh by the attorney before the new report.

"That led me to a conclusion that there was only one reason that the second report, or the addendum to the first report, was asked for – and that was to effectively remove me out of Sars. Because when you look at those disciplinary charges, each of them, if I was found guilty, which by the way I would not have been, if so, any one of them would have led to my immediate dismissal."

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