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There is a furore around corruption allegations involving the number two man at SA Revenue Services Jonas Makwakwa. Rightly so. Because for democracy to function, the integrity of those serving at State institutions must be above reproach. Especially at the organisation collecting the money to keep the public sector rolling. Taxes are rarely willingly paid. To comply, tax collectors need a combination of carrot and stick – showing taxpayers their money is properly applied; the other showing the serious consequences of not paying. When it becomes apparent “discounts” are available by greasing the right palms, both carrot and stick falls away. A worrying part of the Makwakwa matter is despite obvious evidence (like being filmed depositing wads of banknotes into an ATM) the SARS #2 has been shielded by his controversial boss Tom Moyane. That Moyane and SA president Jacob Zuma were related through marriage complicates issues. As does the way Zuma aggressively intervened to prevent finance minister Pravin Gordhan firing the head of the tax collection authority. Ditto that the man accused of impropriety is the head of the unit which deals with high net worth individuals and big corporations. The Makwakwa case also illustrates how Gordhan is bulwark between SA’s public resources and those who would plunder them. To prevent a brooding taxpayer backlash, Makwakwa must at the very least be suspended. Ditto his boss Moyane. Soonest. – Alec Hogg
By Jenni Evans
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.