Johann van Loggerenberg complains to Parliament about Shivambu’s sharing of classified report | News24


EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu

  • Former SARS official Johann van Loggerenberg has laid a complaint against EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu at Parliament.
  • It relates to Shivambu’s alleged possession and dissemination of a classified IGI report on the so-called SARS “rogue unit”.
  • Parliament heard testimony that Shivambu shared the since-discredited report with a Public Protector investigator in December 2018.

Former South African Revenue Service (SARS) official Johann van Loggerenberg has laid a complaint with Parliament’s registrar against EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu for the alleged illegal dissemination of a classified report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI).

The report on the so-called SARS “rogue unit” has since been discredited.

This follows the testimony of the executive manager of investigations in the Public Protector’s office, Ponatshego Mogaladi, before the Section 194 committee investigating Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.

Shivambu was the complainant in the so-called “rogue unit” matter, which formed part of the EFF’s vendetta against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Mogaladi testified that she had a meeting with Shivambu on 8 December 2018, when he provided the IGI report to her on WhatsApp. She couldn’t open the document, and on 11 December 2018, he emailed the report to her.

Mogaladi emphasised that she only read the first two pages, as the second page indicated that it was top secret. She also assumed that it was from the State Security Agency (SSA) and unrelated to the SARS unit.

Mogaladi stated in an affidavit:

I just closed it and did not go back to it. I did not print it, nor did I disseminate it.

Mkhwebane’s version was that the report was “dropped off” anonymously at her office.

The report has since been reviewed and set aside by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

“That document caused untold harm to people and institutions and had been kept away from the very people who would have been able to dispose of it, had they been afforded sight of it,” said Van Loggerenberg in a statement.

READ | ‘Physical possession’ one thing but Shivambu’s ‘rogue unit’ report disclosure an offence – Mkhwebane

“If the new evidence proves true, Mr Shivambu, and, by implication, others who have received and used these classified records in a secretive manner, with total disregard for the rights of current and former civil servants and their families, acted at worst illegally and at best unlawfully. This cannot be left unchallenged for the sake of the integrity of our Parliament and its members, and to protect the rights of all those that had been affected,” Van Loggerenberg said.

“We cannot have a situation where rogue Members of Parliament abuse their platform and taxpayer-funded activities to break the country’s laws.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines and complain about the state of our country and not do anything when we see wrong. What I believe is required of us all as citizens, is to get involved in the development of our constitutional democracy by asserting our legal rights, no matter how small the action may be, and in spite of the public attacks, intimidation, vitriol and social media disinformation that undoubtedly will follow this complaint to the Registrar of Parliament, in support of Mr Shivambu and the EFF,” he added.

Johann van Loggerenberg.

Johann van Loggerenberg

Netwerk24 Deon Raath

Van Loggerenberg called on “every right-thinking and law-abiding South African and civil society organisation” that has an interest in Parliament’s proper functioning to assist in any way they deem best.

Van Loggerenberg said he understood that parliamentary process afforded Shivambu seven days to reply, after which the relevant authority within Parliament would decide on the matter. He requested the right to reply to Shivambu’s response.

“Although Parliament has a dismal record of protection of whistleblowers who take a stand against the powerful, I have requested Parliament to protect me from the predictable aggression and personal attacks that will no doubt follow upon my complaint,” added Van Loggerenberg.

READ | No, the EFF is not allowed to share IGI’s ‘rogue unit’ report

After reportage on Mogaladi’s testimony, the EFF responded with attacks on the media.

The EFF claimed a ruling by the Equality Court in October 2019 – 10 months after Shivambu shared the report with Mogaladi – allowed it to disseminate the report.

Nowhere in the judgment did the court issue an order to declassify the report or grant the EFF the right to disseminate it beyond the court record.

This wasn’t the last time the report came up in court proceedings.

Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi explicitly interdicted the release, publication and public dissemination of the report in a 29 October 2020 ruling.

“The Public Protector and the EFF cannot, therefore, rely on the ground that the I-G’s report is in the public domain since their unauthorised possession of the classified report is a continuing offence,” the ruling stated.

Van Loggerenberg was one of the first witnesses before the Section 194 committee. In an exchange with him, Mkhwebane’s legal representative, advocate Dali Mpofu SC, admitted that Mkhwebane had been in illegal possession of the report.

The committee is expected to resume with the impeachment proceedings on Thursday.

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