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Love him or hate him, there is one thing Malusi Gigaba got right during his short-lived stint as finance minister: the promise of a judicial commission of inquiry into the meltdown at the South African Revenue Service. That’s notwithstanding his woeful overall performance in the portfolio. He was an inappropriate choice as guardian of the fiscus — his record on state-owned entities left much to be desired — but even Gigaba deserves his due. He announced the inquiry during the latter part of 2017, when SARS was steeped in administrative chaos. The state of flux largely contributed to rising tax dissent and emboldened criminal elements intent on cheating the system. This trip down memory lane was sparked by acting commissioner Mark Kingon’s admission in Parliament last week that a skills flight has undermined SARS’s capabilities in combating illicit financial outflows. So not only did SARS have to contend with the tax revolt, but financial crookery thrived because the receiver’s brain...

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