BY KYLE COWAN
SARS official Vlok Symington has hit back at his employer‚ who in court papers filed on Monday denied his allegations of political interference at the Revenue Service.
The High Court battle started in August when Symington applied for an urgent interdict to halt disciplinary proceedings against him.
SARS has maintained that there is no witch hunt against Symington‚ who made headlines after an alleged hostage drama in a SARS boardroom in October last year.
Symington alleges he was held against his will by members of the Hawks and Thabo Titi‚ personal bodyguard to Commissioner Tom Moyane as they attempted to take back documents sent to Symington in error.
The documents relate to fraud charges brought against former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
Following the incident‚ Symington approached the National Prosecuting Authority and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and disclosed information.
Symington maintains these disclosures were covered by the Protected Disclosures Act but strangely SARS in court papers has said it was not aware Symington was approaching the law enforcement bodies until his court application‚ despite Symington attaching e-mails in which he informs his superiors of his intention to do so.
Symington has since been charged with misconduct for the incident‚ a video of which was leaked to the media.
“I maintain that the decision by Moyane to bring disciplinary charges against me is motivated by the fact that I made the protected disclosures [to Ipid and the NPA]‚” Symington said in his replying affidavit.
“The protected disclosures have resulted in publicity and attention that SARS and Moyane would probably have preferred not to have including Moyane being questioned on my case in Parliament.”
Symington adds that the publication of e-mail trails as part of his disclosures “must have caused great embarrassment” to the persons involved‚ not least Moyane.
“This is most likely why Moyane has ordered that I be discredited‚ disciplined and probably dismissed from my employment at SARS‚” Symington says.
In earlier court papers Symington alleged that he was caught in a political crossfire designed to have Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas removed from the finance ministry – as part of the “broader spectre of State Capture”.
SARS in answering court papers denied or disputed nearly every paragraph of Symington’s founding affidavit and moved to have paragraphs relating to state capture allegations struck off the record.
The matter is set down for arguments to be heard in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.