WATCH: SARS 'rogue unit' accused all smiles after judge dismisses charges
Pretoria - “You are free to go”. These were the words of Acting Judge Anthony Millar when he formally withdrew charges against the so-called “Rogue Unit” accused.
This followed a decision by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi earlier this month to drop the charges against former Sars officials Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg.
It took only a few seconds on Monday morning to formally clear the three from all charges. They left the dock in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria all smiles and hugged their lawyer, Bernard Hotz.
They did not want to comment at this stage, but Hotz said he imagined they all had a huge sigh of relief. He added that they all knew deep down that this day was coming as they had done nothing wrong.
Hotz said the past few years while the charges hanged over their heads were very traumatic for them.
One of the men, who did not want to be identified, told IOL that they were definitely looking at instituting damages claims arising from the prosecution against them.
While he said they will still identify who should be held responsible, it is believed that former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane is one of the parties which could face a civil suit.
Moyane was the one who asked then NDPP Shaun Abrahams to investigate charges emanating from the “Rogue Unit” against the three.
Apart from the trauma of having the charges hanging over their heads for years, the three were also left out of pocket as they had to pay their legal fees themselves.
They appeared in court for the first time in April 2018 and their case never came off the ground due to numerous interlocutory applications.
The allegations surrounding the so-called rogue unit surfaced in 2007 but the trio was only charged in 2018.
Since their first appearance in court, they battled to obtain the contents of the full docket from the prosecuting authority.
They had turned to court on numerous occasions in a bid to obtain the full docket - the case against them - from the National Prosecuting Authority. They were only given parts of the docket.
They were charged with various counts of corruption, including allegations of having been part of a “Rogue Unit” which allegedly spied on various high profile politicians.