South African Revenue Service (SARS)

In what is being dubbed as the ‘SARS hostage-drama’, dramatic video footage and sound clips that emerged on Thursday show officers from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (or more commonly known as the Hawks) that can be seen and heard arguing with a SARS official and talking over a cell phone. It seems as if the men who are seen in the footage were trying to confiscate sensitive documents related to SARS commissioner Tom Moyane’s role in the fraud investigation into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Vlok Symington, the deputy director of SARS’s legal and policy division can be heard arguing with the bodyguards and Hawks members, after which he tries to ask for help. At the beginning of the video, Symington says that he is being kept against his will. The footage shows Symington not being allowed to exit the room.

This is just another instance that illustrates the dire straits that the Zuma administration is in, and the lengths that they are willing to go to hide corruption and maladministration. With each passing day, it becomes even clearer that the charges brought against Minister Pravin Gordhan are not only politically motivated but lack legal justification and basis.

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Daniël is a Senior Staff Writer at the Rational Standard. He is an alumni of the Democratic Alliance Young Leaders Programme, and a director at Agenda, a South African non-profit aimed at enabling and empowering young South Africans with debating and public speaking skills. Daniël currently works at Hurter Spies Inc, which specialises in public interest and civil rights litigation, while completing his LLM degree in constitutional- and cyber law.