In the wake of the marches against the firing of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, I wondered who the throngs of people actually were, beyond Jacob Zuma’s political opponents from opposition parties and NGOs. They were vaguely billed as ordinary people and they came in all shapes, colours and sizes in their tens of thousands. Certainly, many were galvanised by a sense of general moral outrage at what Zuma and his cronies are up to. Their placards said so. But I suspect that many were taxpayers — out on the street for the first time, to articulate their anger at what has and may still happen to the money that they forfeit to the state as tax from salaries and company profits. For them, it is becoming personal. And it’s an interesting trend – the politicisation of the taxpayer as voice of protest. Taxpayers are a group ripe for mobilisation. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) was conceived in protest against e-tolls, but is gaining support and airtime by positioning itself as...

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