Natasha Marrian Financial Mail deputy editor & columnist

The date is Sunday October 13 2013. SA’s former prisons boss, an economist named Tom Moyane, is holding his first meeting with Vittorio Massone, a smooth-talking Italian consultant representing Bain & Co. The meeting is at the Melrose Arch offices of the Boston-based consultancy. Massone had been introduced to Moyane by soap opera producer Duma Ndlovu, a mover and shaker who had also introduced the ambitious consultant to incumbent President Jacob Zuma. Moyane, too, had always been ambitious. And, fittingly for him, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had just lost its commissioner, Oupa Magashula, and Moyane had his eye on the job. Massone was to be the man to help Moyane succeed once he got it. Of course, neither Moyane nor Massone had an inkling of the complexity and intricacies of running a world-class tax agency. But on that Sunday afternoon they sat down to map out Sars’s fate. In September 2014, the plan fell into place and Zuma appointed him to head the revenue agency. Fast-forwar...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now