Last week was a good one for commissions of inquiry. The disclosures by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas to the Zondo commission brought home how far gone we as a country were under president Jacob Zuma. And the various disclosures before the Nugent commission about the systematic destruction of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) under Zuma’s appointed leadership showed that no institution was safe. Commissions are not a form of justice in themselves. But their ability to draw out information helps the public understand what we as a country have been through. According to Jonas, Atul Gupta boasted that "we [the Guptas] control everything", including the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the National Intelligence Agency. That was brought home when the Hawks later tried to get Jonas to withdraw his allegation about Atul Gupta’s attempt to bribe him with R600m to do their bidding in the Treasury. Over at the Nugent commission, witnesses disclosed how Sars’ Large Busi...

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