EFF police malema

Photo: EFF / Twitter

EFF to challenge Sars ‘rogue unit’ court ruling

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has rejected the High Court in Pretoria’s ruling on the Sars ‘rogue unit’ report, describing it as irrational and a threat to national security

EFF police malema

Photo: EFF / Twitter

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are expectedly outraged by a decision by the High Court in Pretoria, setting aside a report by Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on the South African Revenue Service (Sars) so-called ‘rogue unit’ and intends challenging the ruling.

“The EFF has therefore decided to appeal this judgment. We will challenge it to the highest court in the land,” it said in a lengthy statement.

EFF: Parliament must investigate Sars ‘rogue unit’

The EFF further said it had written to Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to hold its own investigation into the unit.

“We have all reasons to believe that covert intelligence was collected by Sars, using intrusive equipment purchased using state funds,” said EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.

“All of this intelligence and equipment must be unearthed, recovered and put under the protection of lawful intelligence services. As long as it is not found, it remains a threat to national security. All those responsible for this crime must also be thrown in jail because they have engaged in espionage and treason”

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

A full bench found that Mkhwebane had been biased against Public Enterprises Minister Gordhan and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and that she had relied on discredited information when compiling her report.

“Releasing the report which contained various adverse findings against Minister Gordhan and which had enormous personal and political impact, to the media before releasing it to the person [Minister Gordhan] affected by the report, is not in keeping with the high standards required by her office,” the court ruled.

The public protector has also been ordered to pay 15% of the costs.

The unit, then called the High Risk Investigations Unit, was established in 2007, when Gordhan was Sars commissioner. It is alleged to have carried out rogue operations including spying on high-profile officials.

The minister’s legal team has said it feels vindicated by the ruling but also noted that the matter might be challenged to a higher court.

Tebogo Malatji said he hopes that the ruling puts an end to the narrative surrounding the establishment of the unit.

“It’s a lawfully established unit and it has done incredibly good work and much of the judge’s concern, if you read through it (judgement), is the extent to which the office of the public protector ignored evidence that showed what good work was being done by that particular unit. To make sure that sufficient tax is collected for you and I and all South African citizens,” Malatji said.