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SARS official quits as spy unit fallout continues

21 May 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Natasha Marrian
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Author: Natasha Marrian (BDlive)

The fallout from the spy scandal at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) continued on Wednesday as yet another senior official resigned and two members of the now-disbanded unit were notified of their pending suspension.

It is understood Gene Ravele, head of tax and customs enforcement investigations, resigned on Wednesday. However, contacted for comment on Wednesday, Mr Ravele said: "Talk to SARS."

Former SARS group investigations executive Johann van Loggerenberg had reported to Mr Ravele, who replaced former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in the position in 2012.

SARS has seen a big exodus of senior staff since late last year, many due to the fallout from revelations linked to the unit.

Spokesman Luther Lebelo said SARS would not comment on employee matters.

According to sources, Mr Ravele resigned when SARS sought to notify him of his pending suspension and afford him an opportunity to respond.

Mr Ravele joined SARS in 1997, according to its website.

He was a member of its executive committee.

The website shows he has worked in units dealing with operations, transformation, anticorruption, national special investigations, government relations, and customs and border management, among others.

Two former unit members, Helgard Lombard and Johan de Waal, were also notified of their pending suspension and were given until Friday to provide reasons they should not be suspended.

The pair, according to the Sunday Times, had provided affidavits implicating former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in the illegal bugging of the National Prosecuting Authority offices.

The matter is being investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (the Hawks), it confirmed earlier this week.

This article first appeared on


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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