The EFF ‘got it horribly wrong' in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) this week when it told a judge that a gang of State Security Agency (SSA) agents were in fact members of the so-called SARS ‘rogue unit’, according to a Daily Maverick commentary by investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw.

He says the spooks identified by the EFF as SARS ‘rogue unit’ members were in fact mostly rogue agents of the notorious Special Operations Unit of the SSA that in 2014 was intent on removing the top executive of SARS and ‘capturing’ the tax collector in order to protect former President Jacob Zuma, his friends and his cronies as part of state capture.

They were being investigated by SARS for tax evasion, money laundering and fraud at the time.

Standing in front of Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi in the High Court on Wednesday, counsel for the EFF, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, made the claim that these rogue SSA agents had contracts with SARS and served in the SARS ‘rogue unit’.

He claimed in court that he obtained his information from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s ‘rogue unit’ report and a bombshell affidavit recently made by former SARS executive Johann van Loggerenberg. It is untrue, says Pauw.

Neither Mkhwebane nor Van Loggerenberg say this in their respective report and affidavit. In fact, Van Loggerenberg implicated the SSA agents in a series of crimes ranging from fraud to money laundering to defeating the ends of justice.

Says Pauw: ‘Ngcukaitobi and the EFF – avid proponents of the SARS ‘rogue unit’ narrative – were either being devious or hadn’t done their homework – or there is something else at play here.’

Pauw explores the issue in detail in the DM report, and claims Ngcukaitobi further attempted to mislead the court when he read from paragraph 104 of Van Loggerenberg’s affidavit, apparently to show the judge that the SARS ‘rogue unit’ used tracking devices.

He read from the affidavit: ‘To the extent that tracking devices were ever used by the unit, I am aware of two such instances in 2007, where the unit worked closely with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department to ensure the arrest of a tax fraud fugitive with a warrant of arrest issued by the NPA and one instance where, in conjunction with the SAPS, a container containing contraband was seized and forfeited to the state.’

But, says Pauw, Ngcukaitobi failed to read the last, and probably the most important part of the sentence in the paragraph to the judge: ‘These devices did not belong to the unit.’

Full Daily Maverick commentary