The Nugent commission of inquiry into the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has turned a spotlight on the arsenal of law firms, consultancies and auditors that suspended commissioner Tom Moyane used to bring the tax authority to its knees. The work by consultancies Bain & Co and Gartner, auditor KPMG, and law firms Mashiane Moodley & Monama and Hogan Lovells, set the stage for Moyane’s ill-fated reign over the tax agency. In many ways, the firms acted as his henchmen, working to neutralise all aspects of the revenue service’s functioning. Sars was hardly in need of external consultants in the first place — it already employed some of the most skilled, experienced and dedicated professionals in the public service. And Moyane did not need to look far if he wanted Sars to continue on its successful path — he simply had to consult the incumbent executive committee when he took office in September 2014. Instead, he disbanded that committee, bringing in private sector henchmen to do his bidding. ...

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