Invicta Holdings, a piece of the Christo Wiese empire, has had an unfortunate month. It has had the ignominy of close inspection of its tax affairs, with the SA Revenue Service (Sars) circling. And the market is not taking kindly to this. Sars has concluded that Hudaco’s leveraged 2007 BEE structure was a scheme designed to avoid tax. Invicta, I postulate, has taken a commercial position rather than acting on principle, and has decided to settle and put the matter behind it. It may believe it has done nothing wrong. On principle it could have chosen to tackle any Sars assessment against it, especially as its structure was audited and approved by Sars for many years without quibble. But after a long board deliberation ahead of the release of the 2018 results, as well as discussions with its auditor and an independent counsel, Invicta decided to raise the provision for the tax to R550m. Its decision to have a more pragmatic view is a sound move, and one I have advocated to Invicta in ...

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