Analysis

Sars Intelligence Unit Used Covert & Clandestine Tactics: Rogue Unit Member

In Search of Rogue Unit Facts

IN the past few weeks since the furore over the existence or none thereof of the Sars Intelligence unit which the Sunday Times dubbed rogue, we have been in search of whether there existed a unit in Sars that was established illegally and operated unlawfully. 

We have, in several articles, brought you the versions of the advocates who investigated the unit, the version from those implicated (i.e. Johann van Loggerenberg (JVL), Ivan Pillay (IP), the version by now Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan (PG), the Public Protector’s view, Shop Steward and lawyer Keletso Manyike. We today bring you the version from a member of the unit who certainly brands it “covert”. 

We have decided not to rewrite or edit the article and publish it as was sent to us so that we do not taint it with our view. 

  1. BACKGROUND

The unit was built to form a section that is capable of infiltrating , recruiting , profiling tax and vat evaders that normal administrative investigators would not be able to access using covert and clandestine tactics with request from both public or private clients or any other collection the client request.The biggest challenge though, is that this unit was never known to SARS employees or even externally, then the question always arose, as to How was the public or SARS employees internally were going to liaise or report any irregularities or issues pertaining the formation the unit was built to address. Even within SARS internal structures at the Senior Management level only three people were aware of this operation, ie. Pravin Gordhan (PG),Ivan Pillay (IP)and Johann Van Loggerenberg (JVL). Although at some point when some of the members refused to commit evil acts as mandated by Messrs (IP) thru (JVL). The management opted to pay them out this was around (August -September 2008) there was a serious fall out within some members, those who were paid out were intimidated and told not to divulge this issue. Most of them are willing to come out and talk if need be. It is at this point that both Oupa Magashule (OM) and George Nkadimeng (GM) were made aware of this underground structure but urged to hide the knowledge by (IP), only because they were both Senior Managers of HR, and had to be involved in the buying out of these disgruntled members as they were named by (JVL) and (IP). Below is the illustration of how the structure was formed and the members’ profile

2.RECRUITMENT

Members were secretly headhunted based on their specialty within the Enforcement, Intelligence, I.T areas and community from the following Enforcement agencies:

  • S.A.P.S Crime Intelligence Operatives
  • S.A.P.S Task Force Operatives
  • Special Forces
  • Commercial Crime
  • D.S.O Operatives
  • I.T Specialists
  • N.I.A Operatives
  • Military Intelligence
  • Vat and Tax
  • S.A.R.S Enforcement Investigators
  • Traffic
  • Operational
  • Legal Advisers
  1. PROFILES OF MEMBERS

CHARL FOURIE

Former D.S.O Operative , team leader in the ?.Z raid with background as an operational psychologist used for recruiting and profiling of both sources and suspects also as an clandestine operator within the

SIPH0 NKOMO

Former Metro Police Commander used for utilising the Metro resources for the units benefit from overriding traffic fines to using Metro personnel for road blocks and raids to legitimise the operations.

DILLO NYAPHUD1

Vat and policy specialist former team leader in the N.E.U (National Enforcement Unit) used for legitimising operations as he was an expert in the S.A.R.S systems for inquiring need information.

DANIE Le ROUX

Former S.A.P.S Task Force Superintendent for access to high risk raids using active Task force members for raids, accessing of fire arms and ammunition and getting access to high profile information on concerned suspects.

JOHAN de WAAL

Former D.S.O and N.I.A Operative who was also instrumental in the J.Z. raids and confirmed accomplice of Derrick Coetser and Eugene de Kock use as team leader and liaison with N.I.A and D.S.O. If any steam is coming towards the unit like an investigation into the unit’s use of false S.A.R.S Identification cards. He is still an active team leader within the N.R.G and close ally of Johann van Loggerenberg.

ANTON VAN WOUT

Cyber forensic expert used for investigating and pulling of confidential information of concerned parties for investigative and infiltration purposes.

HELGARD LOMBART

Technical expert utilised for installing of covet cameras, trackers, voice monitors or any other spy equipment for investigative purposes.

KENNY MPHAHLELE

Former D.S.O Operative and investigator in the N.E.U, used as a foot soldier because of this expertise in clandestine tactics.

ITUMELENG LEEUW

Former D.S.O. Operative, Team leader, S,S.I and legal adviser for legitimising operations using his influence within the N.P.A.

FRANZ VAN NIEKER
Former Crime Intelligence Operative and I.T Specialist useful as telephone, mobile, e-mail interceptor and programmer builder of safe means of communication within the unit and using his influence within the S.A.P.S to get templates for legitimising raids and infiltration.

PIETER DE BOD

Former D.S.O. Operative and S.S.I handling the Western Cape region for any subjects that might interest the unit in the illicit world with huge connections to the underworld community.

GILRERT GUNN

Former D.S.O Operative who was the technical operator in the JZ surveillance and tracking of vehicles and master locksmith.

ERICK KWELA

Former manager in the S.A.P.S Enforcement unit. He was downgraded to a foot soldier because of his stance towards the unit’s case criteria.

FANIE BOTHMA

Former D,S.O Operative covering the K.Z.N region with vast connection to the Chinese world of illicit trade and chosen figures for investigation and recruiting purposes.

KEITH HECTOR

Former Crime Intelligence Operative in the Narcotics working as a recruiter and handler of sources and as a team leader in the East London region but also covering national source recruitment and handling.

MIKE PEEGA

Former S.A.N.D.F Special Forces Operator specialising in weapons, clandestine tactics, rural and urban reconnaissance, demolition expert, infiltration of syndicates, operations adviser, intelligence analyst used as a foot soldier .

SHIOBAN WILSON

Mathematics and statistician expert used as an operation statistic data capturer and information analyst.

JAPPIE TSHABALALA

S.P.U investigator within S.A.R.S and expert in data systems within S.A.R.S used as a foot soldier and counter intelligence within the unit.

NORAH PITSI

Former Military Intelligence and investigator in the unit used as a foot soldier and honey trap for concerned suspects.

TIMOTHY MABASO

Former Military Intelligence and investigator in the unit used as a foot soldier.

EDDIE KOTZE

Former Police officer and manager in the enforcement within S.A.R.S worked as liaison of administration between the unit and the head-office since we were not allowed to be at the head quarters.

  1. TEAMS DIVISION

The teams were divided in a way that we could not know what others were busy with even if they were investigating other unit members because of their affiliation and who they associate with and communication was severed by means of compartmentalisation of members into what I would regard as concentration camps where a member had to inform the team leader if he was to communicate with other members and failure to do so that would result in blocking and bugging of any communicative tools used, especially within the black members.

Find attached the diagram of the N.R.G Placement chart, inquiries will be addressed.

5.INDUCTION

Induction was done in a private location where members were taken through tactics such as
  • Tracings
  • Tracker Installation
  • Weapon handling
  • Bugging Systems
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Surveillance (Physical ,Mobile and Electronic)
  • Systems Breaching
  • Building Cover Stories
  • Changing of Identity
  • Communication Security
  • House Penetration
  • Cryptology
  • Safe Houses and their protection

For every exercise vetting would take place and cross training would take place on live targets.

6. MANAGEMENT 

During the inception of the unit it was under management of Andries van & Rensburg former N.I.A Operative with close ties to the right wing who ran the unit as a personal entity that created confusion amongst team members as we would go after personal targets of various S.A.R.S managers. From what we were told they were pedophiles to “tax evaders”. The unit came under scrutiny from various law enforcement agencies but everything disappeared without any explanation from management.

The unit operated without a mandate from inception until some members complained of the legality of our operations – whether the operations were revenue driven or personal agendas from the white majority who were silenced with huge salary packages and blacks given an excuse of budget constraints with the exception of two black sympathisers who were at the lowest of the salary scales despite the promise of entry packages of not less than R550,000.00 per annum.

Late 2008 a mandate was proposed which never saw its approval and yet we still operated. Some grievances were lodged by members that weren’t happy with packages but they were never resolved to date because we were not on the S.A.R.S database but were paid from Mr Ivan Pillay’s budget. Some members were paid out as said in the background above for continuous complaints, between (Rl mil and R1,2 mil) and were told to leave and barred from media contact.

Some of the operations leading to right wing operatives were exposed by some black members as we did a lot of so called “controlled deliveries”. We felt we were being used to escort exchanges of abalone poachers – we never saw the bust because black foot soldiers would be withdrawn as soon as the exchange of moneys and abalone takes place. All these operations were verbally approved with no involvement of any other enforcement agency. Some dealers would be arrested of which we believed were competitors to the concerned suspects.

Sources would be paid an undisclosed amount of money which were handled by what came to be known as the INNER CIRCLE of the unit. The division created conflict and (JVL) came as the mediator and finally Andrles van Rensburg was fired but not before he threatened to expose the unit and was offered a ‘silence cheque’ and the unit members were warned to cut all ties and communication with him.

The unit was left without the manager until we were told that (JVL) would be the manager but nothing was on paper to that effect and that all operations would be approved by him or (IP). Meetings with these management was an obstacle for members with salary grievances who were sent from pillar to post. When also asking about the approval of the mandate in writing, we were told to imagine if ‘Mr Pillay’s signature could appear on the document, that would cause a serious problem and would expose him(IP). Immediately then operations would carry on as usual, as if nothing has happened.

The unit went through several name changes trying to shy away from being persecuted for collecting intelligence on tax payers by means of covert tactics, we were recruited as Specialist Agents which later became Specialist Investigators, we were no longer Intelligence Collectors but Information Verifiers, all the nonsense. Especially if we suspect that certain people are aware of Our existence

More information with regards to the method of operation and approval of projects will be attached in the minutes of meetings held at the time.

  1. CASE CRITERIA

Projects were given pseudo names, project managers would not give the full intelligence until we were on the target area. Post Polokwane (ANC Conference) we were given projects and subjects named as TAX OFFENDERS but on close inspection we realised that the concerned targets were JZ sympathisers or what came to be known as FRIENDS OF JZ.  Subjects of interest were mostly in GAUTENG and K.Z.N provinces and internally in SARS especially if perceived to be aligned to JZ.  When the black members objected to the merit and reason for investigation they would not be paid their allowances or either redirected to more hostile operations but the operations would still carry on with the exclusion of black foot soldiers then handed over to the N.E.U for further investigation and collection. Operations would involve stealing of mail from residences (Dumpster diving), interception of e-mails, mobile and landlines, extraction of bank statements, installing of tracker Systems on vehicles and posing as loitters around the premises while monitoring movements via hidden cameras even using sound enhancers to listen to conversation of our targets.

When we request who is our client, we would be met with hostility and threatened with insubordination, as the instruction comes from above, meaning (IP and UL). Ours was to do as we were instructed, no questions to be asked. Cases would range from Chinese business people, Indians aligned and known to be bankrolling JZ ,Black business people aligned to JZ and who were vocal to his campaign pre Polokwane, vocal members of the ANC NEC always told with requests from ’Ghost clients’. During one operation post Polokwane, we were in Durban (Hilton Hotel) to be precise, I had a heated argument with the team leader questioning and opposing their instructions on what I had to do or perform to the ANCYL leaders that were staying and sharing the hotel with us, in this instance, it was Zizi Kodwa and Fikile Mbalula. The following day I received a call from the management ordering me to surrender my laptop and electronic devices to the team leader. I was banned from meetings and little communication with the rest of the team members. My mobile was tapped and I was under surveillance which I reported and confronted some of the members about.

Names and requests from ‘ghost clients’ :

  • Mabheleni Ntuli — Lifestyle questionnaire and links for source of funds
  • Julias Ivlalema — Lifestyle questionnaire, registry of assets versus income
  • Zizi Kodwa — Lifestyle questionnaire, registry of assets versus income
  • Tony Yengeni lifestyle questionnaire and his links with JZ
  • Lembede Associates — Fund allocation and future covet auditing into funds with aim of investigating recipients for vat and tax compliance
  • Fikile Mbalula Lifestyle questionnaire and associates
  • Fana Hlongwane and his links with the retired Gen Siphiwe Nyanda and company called Ngwane securities
  • Robert Gumede his links with AZ, and his money laundering schemes
  • Khula Zuma, lifestyle questionnaire, registry of assets versus income and source of income
  • Zweli Mkhize, Bheki Cele and his association with JZ. Also look at KZN ‘departmental tenders’ under their MEC roles.
  • Vivian Reddy Fund allocation and future covet auditing into funds.
  • Ace Magashule lifestyle questioned, registry of assets versus income.
  • Internally Senior managers like Vuso Shabalala, were targeted to be sidelined from the restructuring and activities Of SARS until he resigns from SARS, and exactly that happened later he left and joined DoJ as he was seen as a threat to replace the Commissioner and expose some of the procurement irregularities since he was very vocal on the appointment of Barry Hore and BB & D relationship
  • We were told to track and tag Leonard Radebe’s vehicle (XXXXXXXX) because he constantly visited JZ at Forest Town, we also bugged the mobile phone at some point we followed him in KZN up to Beverly Hills hotel were he was to meet JZ, this information was tapped on the phone and intercepted.
  1. MARGINALISATION OF BLACKS

Black members internally began to be sidelined financially, knowledge of clients because they were questioning the method of case selection and the criteria used for selecting targets as we felt we were stepping beyond our jurisdiction, which was to collect revenue as we were told by our managers before. It was also becoming very dangerous for some of us as we got deeper in these operations, because it was quite evident that SARS was playing dirty and dangerous games. The issue was WHY are the state resources being abused in such a dirty way? We were also surprised to here that some of our members come from the NPA structures that were threatened by closure. At some point, documents were amended when we refused to take certain instruction, certain members were told to leave this unit for refusing to play in the dirt and told not to be in touch with us for good. Some of us threatened to go public with the unit’s activities and were threatened with disclosure clauses, all of a sudden approvals of only legitimate cases were made available to us as members and the direction changed to investigating counterfeit and textile industry.

  1. PAYMENTS METHOD
  • The unit was funded through a cost code centre 50 20 30 /31.
  • Sources were paid with funds from “clients”.
  • Claims and salaries werC paid out of the same cost code
  • The unit had a secret account from which only members in the “inner circle “knew who funded that account. There was always a thought and suspicion that the funds came from the busts that were never

10.CONCLUSION

As concerned members of the community, we are aware that SARS is being perceived by the public as an effective, most organised and highly performing organisation. We however regret that a lot of ill-conceived actions taken and being performed by some senior management in particular Messrs (IP) and (JVL) are totally against our constitution. It is also a fact that the then Commissioner Mr (PG) is well aware of these activities despite him always waving the card of being an activist. No one is safe, particularly if he disagreed with (PG), that will be the day of atrocities and serious victimisation if not portrayed as fighting his legacy. It is also very clear, how his successor has been appointed, it is simply to protect and shield his activities, particularly procurement in SARS.

No one, not even the Auditor General failed to audit and give the true reflection of the state of SARS. THEY WILL NOT DARE EVEN WHEN WE KNOW, THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS IN THE PAST particularly with assets, including the assets that were bought for our unit. Nobody knows their existence except for (PG), (IP) and (UL), because this state of the art equipment will raise eye brows and questions will be asked as to what it is being used for. Only agencies like NIA should be in possession of such equipment, but SARS ghost employees are in possession of all that. Someone must stop this nonsense otherwise the security of our country is threatened, taking into consideration that the profile of some members is questionable. 

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