The South African Revenue Service (Sars) really didn’t care how people made their money – as long as Jan Tax received his cut.
This much was made clear in Johann van Loggerenberg’s second book, Death and Taxes – How Sars Made Hitmen, Drug Dealers and Tax Dodgers Pay their Dues, available from Jonathan Ball Publishers.
Let’s be honest, nobody ever pops champagne when Sars announces tax season, but the less painful the process is and the more visible the use of our money is, the less the sting is felt. And when society’s slime balls inevitably dodge paying their share, Sars should be able to pick up the slack.
Van Loggerenberg shows where Sars could have made up its recent failure to collect R700 million for the 2017/18 fiscal year after it dismantled its high-risk investigation unit, as detailed in his first book he co-wrote with former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay, Rogue: The iInside Story of Sars’ Elite Crime-Busting Unit.
“Here’s a quick breakdown of the ones for which I have incontestable evidence although there are, of course, more: there’s a R50 million Lonhro-Rollex case that was manipulated and the money never recovered; another case would cost the taxpayer R25 million (not R20 million as Sars would claim) after she created a paper trail to deceive Sars; and yet another amounts to a staggering R600 million where she also assisted a client to create off-shore money laundering mechanisms,” he wrote.
“She”, of course, being … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out who, and then probably the first book as well to discover how “she”, together with a number of people, including former State Security agents, effectively broke Sars.
Yet, as he points out, none of the people who actually brought Sars to its knees, aside from suspended commissioner Tom Moyane, is being investigated.
The author examines the clothing industry ripoff that nearly killed the Springbok emblem, Julius Malema’s tax hassles, Jacob Zuma and Glenn Agliotti.
For the author, it’s a holding to account; for the everyday reader it’s a concise account of how, where and when state capture started; and for journalists, Death and Taxes should be required reading.