Judge Dennis Davis’s article avoids the real reason for the ubiquity of luxury cars in SA (“Ferraris in Clifton: hints of pernicious tax evasion”, January 12), which is that corruption and theft are endemic in SA, particularly in the government.

It is only partially true that “corruption has eroded tax morality”, but to say that corruption “must await another occasion” is to expediently avoid the real problem. The forensic accounting the judge refers to has already uncovered billions of rand in theft and corruption by people connected to the ANC government.

Some months ago Edwin Sodi, who is allegedly connected to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, was found to be in possession of 29 luxury vehicles at his R18m property when the Asset Forfeiture Unit arrived to confiscate them. He is not alone.

It is true that per capita SA is probably the leader in the luxury car market globally. However, the problem lies in the wholesale theft and looting of state resources by individuals, not tax evasion. While there is little doubt that tax evasion occurs, the government has had little or no success in prosecuting the miscreants who parade their looted spoils in public.

People will always seek ways to “avoid” tax, and the judge’s intimation that “it may prompt a debate about the morality of such conduct” cannot be sustained in a capitalist society. Why is it unconscionable for a person who works hard to endeavour to protect his income legally?

There will always be “haves” and “have nots” in society. The government should get its house in order and stop the looting and corruption.

Nathan Cheiman

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