Vindicated former Sars exec hopes Zondo report will ‘spark some backbone’

The ball, Johann van Loggerenberg says, is now in the authorities’ court.

Former head of the highrisk investigations unit at the SA Revenue Service (Sars) Johann van Loggerenberg has welcomed the findings relating to his former employer by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, chaired by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The ball, he says, is now in the authorities’ court.

“Whether our law enforcement agencies and Sars have the capability and capacity – and the appetite – to do something now remains to be seen,” said Van Loggerenberg, one of the senior officials the report found had been driven out of the organisation.

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“No one needed the Zondo commission to know what happened or where to find the evidence. I can only hope the commission’s report may spark something that brings back some backbone to those institutions and that we see some positive outcomes.”

Van Loggerenberg described the findings about Sars as “but one part of a string of open and constitutional processes which have over many years exposed the lies and deceit that commenced at Sars in 2014 and were furthered in the media at the time”.

He was referencing the since discredited narrative peddled that he and his colleagues were involved in a “rogue unit”.

He said there were several material witnesses to crimes and unconstitutional conduct who had yet to put up their hands.

“In addition, I remain concerned about the facilitators of state capture who remain in the employ of Sars and other state organs.

“This is a ticking time bomb and will become an increasingly difficult issue to deal with if not decisively dealt with now – the commission report provides the perfect platform for this.”

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He claimed to have felt no need for vindication, but did welcome “the repetition of the fact that the so-called ‘rogue unit’ propaganda was part of a ruse to capture Sars, as has been found over and over again”.

“I don’t think people must be naive about it, though. There will always be those in whose interests the propaganda will remain, and it is unfortunately a deep scar left on many people and their families.”