SARS Trio case postponed while NPA stumbles

The case against three former SARS officials, called the "Project Sunday evenings" case, has been postponed after a last-minute application by the National Public Prosecutor (NPA).

The former executive director of the South African tax authorities (SARS) Johann van Loggerenberg, former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and Andries "Skollie" Janse van Rensburg have made a short visit to the Pretoria Court of Appeal on Friday.

Their application for parts B and C of the die handed over by the state was deposited in court on Friday, but was postponed after a public prosecutor filed a late application.

It was postponed to 12 September after the state had argued that the removal of former National Public Prosecutor's Office (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams and the hospitalization of Torie Pretorious, one of the prosecutors in the case, the ability to submit documents in time obstructed.

Prosecutors now have a little more than a week to submit replies to the application submitted by the SARS three in July for the parts of the account that they have not yet transferred.

They face charges related to Sunday Evenings & # 39 ;, a mysterious project in which secret bugs were installed in 2007 at the now dismantled headquarters of Scorpions and NPA in Silverton, Pretoria.

The installations were done by now suspended SARS employee, Helgard Lombard.

Pillay and Van Loggerenberg are accused of "unauthorized satisfaction by a party in an employment relationship" because they would have allowed Lombard to "keep" R100 000 of the installation project.

Pillay and Janse van Rensburg have meanwhile been accused of violations of the legislation on the interception of communication and transaction law (RICA).

Lombard is an important witness against his former colleagues.

Delay tactics

Shortly after the matter was called, the magistrate was forced to request a reprieve because the accusation could not be found.

Claims that prosecutors used delaying maneuvers in the case came forward in court Friday.

The NPA, represented by external lawyer Benny Buthelezi, denied this and said that Pretorious's disease and Abraham's removal were the fault.

Pretorius was hospitalized on August 16 and Abrahams was removed on August 13, more than a month after the defense team filed his application for the rest of the role.

Attorney Laurence Hodes, SC, who appeared on behalf of Pillay, Van Loggerenberg and Janse van Rensburg, explained how his team did not receive the deferment request until 16:40 on Thursday – when the NPA was aware of the application for the docket for more than a month.

"The acting NDPP (Silas Ramaite) may decide not to oppose the application for parts B and C, or it can not, and we argue that in view of the sizeable size and scope of decisions that the working NDPP must We need a reasonable term of time to obtain his mind, "Buthelezi told the court.

He stressed several times that Ramaite needed time to become familiar with the case, but the requested period was not unreasonable.

Hodes said he would extend the proverbial olive branch so that the case could be brought to court more quickly.

The state is now expected, after agreement between the parties, to submit its answers to the application in the first week of September.

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