Advocate Dali Mpofu SC appeared before the inquiry on Friday, calling it an "unmitigated sham and a farce". He made a spirited argument on behalf of suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane that the commission be halted and all evidence presented expunged.

"This is one of the grossest and most unfair processes I've ever witnessed under this democracy," Mpofu said.

He objected to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was previously SARS commissioner and finance minister, having been the first witness, and said that other former SARS officials who gave evidence had "a huge axe to grind".

It is no surprise that Moyane is incensed by the evidence presented. Former chief operations officer Barry Hore told the inquiry that the country lost at least R142-billion in uncollected tax during the time Moyane was in charge of the tax authority.

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