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One of the most frustrating things about being a journalist is knowing something is true but not being able to get it into a publishable state. So it was something of a relief this weekend to read the Sunday Times’s scoop story about, among other things, the tobacco industry in SA. Everything comes out in the end. After he was fired as finance minister, Pravin Gordhan invited us to "join the dots". The dots, in this case, are an industry that is crucial to the state because of the tax revenue it generates, a super-dominant player, an underworld-linked emerging competition, and at the centre of this spider web, the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The Sunday Times scoop, written by Jacques Pauw and based on his new book The President’s Keepers, delves with great panache into some of the characters in the emergent industry. I haven’t read the book yet, but even just from what has been published so far, you can visualise the dots finally being joined.It is important to note the st...

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