Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is at it again. In an unprecedented move, she subpoenaed the SA Revenue Service (Sars) last month to obtain former president Jacob Zuma’s tax information, ostensibly as evidence in relation to a 2017 complaint into alleged bribes he received from a security company.

Alarm bells must have sounded over at Lehae La Sars, the tax agency’s headquarters, on receipt of the subpoena, since it is difficult to see how Zuma’s tax records would help her to determine whether he had received a bribe — as the complaint from former DA leader Mmusi Maimane alleges. If Zuma failed to declare the alleged payments in the early months of his presidency in line with the executive ethics code, does Mkhwebane think that he declared a bribe to the taxman?..

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