Ivan Pillay and Johan van Loggerenberg emerged from the Hawk’s head office in Pretoria, smiling and confident. Robert Levine, attorney for the two former SARS officials, said that no charges have been pressed against his clients yet.
After entering the General Piet Joubert Building, the Hawk’s headquarters, just before 9am, Pillay and van Loggerenberg exited the building close to four and a half hours later. When asked why the meeting was so long, van Loggerenberg, SARS’s former group executive, told journalists to ask the Hawks.
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“I don’t know, I think you should direct further questions to the Hawks,” van Loggerenberg said.
Pillay and van Loggerenberg were questioned separately by the Hawks, each for around two hours. Van Loggerenberg said that he could not tell when the controversial action against him, Pillay, and Gordhan would come to a stop, but he is certain that there has been no wrongdoing on his part.
“Yes absolutely, my conscience is clear,” van Loggerenberg said.
Robert Levine, the attorney representing both Pillay and van Loggerenberg, made a statement on behalf of them. Pillay refused to answer questions from journalists, but in the statement, Levine said that there was no substance in the allegations the Hawks were making against them.
“Our clients will be following due process. They consider the allegations baseless and will be addressing the due process in accordance with their rights,” Robert Levine.
He also clarified that no charges had been pressed against them.
“There are no charges these are allegations,” he said.
Meanwhile, many ordinary South Africans and civil soicety organisations have rallied around finance minister Pravin Gordhan and the former SARS officials who have been accused of running a so-called “rogue unit” within the revenue service that was allegedly illicit. Van Loggerenberg expressed gratitude for the support that has mounted.
“It’s wonderful and thank you very much. Not just for the people who came, but also for the people who continually send us messages. I’ve received thousands of messages since yesterday,” he said.
Neither Pillay nor van Loggerenberg or Levine would comment on what had happened in their meetings with the Hawks. Gordhan released a statement yesterday saying he would not respond to the Hawks in this matter as it has no legal grounds.