Any government, tyrannous or democratic, depends on tax to function. It is the price that citizens and businesses pay in return for services, infrastructure and law and order. In SA, taxation performs an arguably more vital function than in many other countries, as it funds social grants for more than 18-million citizens. This is why Western Cape premier Helen Zille’s call for a tax revolt is morally dangerous — but also shrewd. She says her intention is to force the government to prosecute those guilty of state capture — "the corrupt and powerful" — and of stealing from the people. Zille’s seed falls on very fertile ground. The ANC-led government, and the SA Revenue Service (Sars) in particular, have lost a lot of legitimacy because of the revelations around state capture. The national sense of betrayal has produced an angry mood — and the outrage and frustration have only grown, because police and prosecutors are taking so long to act on the extensive evidence. In November 2018, p...

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