Pravin Gordhan and disgraced Sars officials behind President’s Keepers – report

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG – Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and fired Sars officials Ivan Pillay and Johan van Loggerenberg have been named as the brains and sources behind author Jacques Pauw’s boom The President’s Keepers.

The Sunday Independent reported that Pauw had no intentions of writing the book until he was approached by the group with information.
The publication said the book came after several meetings between Pauw, Gordhan, former intelligence head Moe Shaik, Pillay and van Loggerenberg.
Information relating to Sars matters was allegedly provided by the trio of Gordhan, Pillay and van Loggerenberg while Shaik is said to have produced the information relating to the State Security Agency.
Pauw is said to have also been reluctant to proceed with the book fearing lawsuits but was told during a meeting held in Stellenbosch that he would be provided with resources and funds to fight the litigations.
It now appears his fears have come true with former intelligence operative George Darmanovich leading the charge. He was named in the book as the person who provided Pauw with information for his article in 2014 relating to the Sars Rogue Unit and that van Loggerenberg was facing the axe.
“He was the person who warned me in 2014 that Sars executive Johann van Loggerenberg was going to be fired and that the Special Operations Unit (SOU) was digging for dirt against him and the Sars top executive. How would Darmanovich have known about the SSA if didn’t work for them,” Pauw said in his book.
Darmanovich has come out swinging hard and labelled Pauw as a serial liar. He said he was surprised to see information about him published in the book after Pauw had apologised to him for the 2014 article in which Pauw admitted to being duped by those who provided it.
“He apologised to me for the lies he wrote about me in City Press in 2014, yet he still went on to lie about me in the book,” Darmanovich told the paper.
He is said to have produced proof – in the form of an email received from Pauw apologising for the misleading article.
“I’m writing to you because I was wrong in August 2014 to have implicated you in the demise of Johann van Loggerenberg and the Sars Rogue Unit. I found out afterwards that it was not the Special Operations Unit that f***** up Johann and the Sars investigations unit, but the Economic Intelligence Unit. I was fed wrong information. It was so convincing that he believed it. I believed that you were personally involved in the whole mess. I was played, played very convincingly. If I ever see you again, I will explain to you,” Pauw said in the email.
He also used the email to assure Darmanovich that he was not paid to write the article believed there were people trying to tarnish his image.
“I didn’t get paid to publish the SOU story, I can assure you but there is/was definitely a faction that wanted to get rid of you and smear you- and Inzo I think,” he said.
Darmanovich questioned why Pauw would publish the information even after apologising for it and admitting to being duped by his sources.
Pravin Gordhan signing books during the launch of The President’s Keepers
Gordhan’s involvement in the book was amplified by the circulation of a photo of him signing the book during its launch. At the time many questioned why he signed copies for those who bought the book.
Those involved in the book are set for lengthy court battles with the SSA confirming that it has laid charges against them but spokesperson Brian Dube would not divulge their names.
The family of SSA director general Arthur Fraser is also suing Pauw. They have described his work as lies and enthusiasm to influence the upcoming African National Congress conference. The family also questioned why Pauw failed to give those implicated a right of reply.
Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane has instituted legal action against Pauw. Spokesperson Sandile Memela told the paper that “the civil case against Mr Pauw, which includes Mr Tom Moyane’s defamation, is at an advanced stage and papers will be served soon. Sars wishes to reiterate that it is a criminal offence for any current and former Sars employees to discuss or divulge Sars information to anyone, and Sars will take action should such evidence surface. This is in line with the Tax Administration Act of 2011, especially Section 69, that prohibits the disclosure of taxpayers information,” he said.
Click here to see Jack Pauw’s email: Part 1
                                                   : Part 2