ROB ROSE: British American Tobacco’s shifting moral sands
The tobacco giant’s new lobby group wants Sars commissioner Kieswetter to ‘act now’ against illicit tobacco. Suddenly, the law is important?
Last week, you might have spotted a breathless full-page advert in the Sunday Times, entitled, dramatically: "What are you going to do now, Commissioner Kieswetter?" The advert, placed by an organisation called the SA Tobacco Transformation Alliance (Satta), spoke of findings from "a shocking new independent report".
These "shocking findings": 41% of retailers sell cigarettes below the legal tax rate, and Gold Leaf and Carnilinx brands "make up half of all products sold below the legal tax rate". With the kind of laissez-faire disregard for the conventions of capitalisation you’d expect in a Facebook post from a septuagenarian ivermectin evangelist, it demands: "We need a full-scale investigation into SA’s biggest crime NOW."..