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From about 7am on December 1, aspiring chartered accountants began to flood into the Gallagher Convention Centre to write what they hoped would be their final accounting board exam. It was the culmination of years of work and the final rite of passage to the coveted CA (SA) qualification.

At the convention centre that day, there were about 2,700 people set to write the eight-hour exam — part of a wider contingent of 4,935 people, in 24 centres across the world, who’d paid R6,022 apiece to the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) to write this exam...

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