Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Jonathan Ball Latest

'The security of our democracy at stake' - Ronnie Kasrils reacts to Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS's Elite Crime-busting Unit

New book takes the lid off state capture – Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit

RogueJonathan Ball Publishers has published Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit – an explosive inside account of SARS and the “rogue unit” allegedly operating within it.

It is an exposé of national importance that identifies the dark forces at play in politics and the business world. The book is written by former group executive at SARS Johann van Loggerenberg, with former SARS media liaison and spokesman Adrian Lackay. It will be available nationwide by Wednesday, 21 September, 2016.

Owing to the serious nature of the content of this book, it was prudent that the text be put through a vigorous final legal check by a team which included top media experts at a reputable law firm.

Former Minister for Intelligence Services Ronnie Kasrils had this to say about Rogue:

Until a couple of years ago the professional functioning of SARS had been a success story par excellence. The architects of that achievement were lauded for SARS’s glowing achievements. All that has been seemingly recklessly thrown into question and systematically trashed by what are now being seen as ludicrous allegations.

Our country’s ability to combat organised crime has suffered incalculably. Anonymous leaks to the media about an alleged ‘rogue unit’ and a disgusting smear campaign against those formerly at the head of SARS have become the order of the day. The pertinent questions are: Whose orders and whose agenda?

The very fabric of our institutions and the security of our young democracy are at stake. What has happened at SARS is parallel to a similar pattern of intrigue and destabilisation of so many of our country’s institutions. A stand must be made by all concerned with the truth and the effective running of our country. The alternative is state-sanctioned corruption, puppet leadership, gangsterism and anarchy.

I believe the book provides an invaluable account of what appears to be an orchestrated campaign to discredit SARS’s former leadership and by so doing, its very reputation and effectiveness. While a book of this nature comes with certain legal limitations, it provides all that is required to set the record straight. It consequently is an invaluable resource for the people of our country.

Johann Kriegler, retired Constitutional Court judge said:

What lies behind these events, I don’t know. What I do know is that the full story should be told. Our Constitution demands and guarantees a ‘system of democratic government to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness’. It is for the people of South Africa to decide for themselves where the truth lies: they’re entitled to no less.

Zak Yacoob, retired Constitutional Court judge, said on Friday that he had also analysed the “legal threats” against the SARS “rogue unit”:

I want to say I analysed it very carefully and discussed it with many people. The minister [Gordhan] and I consulted with each other on these units and I advised strongly that they were necessary and not unlawful.

Eugene Ashton, Jonathan Ball Publishers CEO, said:

This book is essential reading for every South African. It gets to the core of what matters and lays bare the forces at play. It is an important book, the most important political book published in this country for very many years.

About the book (from Jonathan Ball)

The story of a “rogue unit” operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by the Sunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spyware and entered into unlawful tax settlements.

In a plot of Machiavellian proportions, head of the elite crime-busting unit Johann van Loggerenberg and many of SARS’s top management were forced to resign. Van Loggerenberg’s select team of investigators, with their impeccable track record of busting high-level financial fraudsters and nailing tax criminals, lost not only their careers but also their reputations.

Now, in this extraordinary account, they finally get to put the record straight and the rumours to rest: there was no ‘rogue unit’. The public had been deceived, seemingly by powers conspiring to capture SARS for their own ends.

Shooting down the allegations he has faced one by one, Van Loggerenberg tells the story of what really happened inside SARS, revealing details of some of the unit’s actual investigations.

About the authors

Johann van Loggerenberg was a group executive at SARS before he resigned from the tax authority in early 2015 after 16 years’ service. His name featured publicly for his involvement in SARS investigations into individuals such as Billy Rautenbach, Irvin Khoza, Julius Malema, Lolly Jackson, Glenn Agliotti and Radovan Krejcir. He currently consults for law firms and private forensic investigation companies.

Adrian Lackay is a former spokesperson for SARS. Before he started at the tax authority in 2003, he worked as a journalist and political correspondent.

Book details