South Africa: Pravin Gordhan Joins the Dots On the World-Class Revenue Service Trashed By State Capture

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Judge Robert Nugent, leader of the SARS inquiry, on the commission's first day of public hearings. (Greg Nicolson)

Public Enterprises Minister and former SARS commissioner Pravin Gordhan was the first witness to appear at the inquiry into the running of the revenue authority on Tuesday. It's set to be an explosive exposé of what happened under suspended SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane.

Judge Robert Nugent proved his style of leadership on the first day of public hearings at the inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was the first witness to appear to explain the systems he established while SARS commissioner between 1999 and 2009. A few years later, everything went wrong.

Gordhan is proud of his achievements and outlined significant improvements at SARS during his tenure. In his 140-slide presentation, full of technical tax lingo and management speak, he highlighted advances in tax enforcement, transformation, organisational culture and ethics.

"Was it not working as well as you say?" inquiry leader Nugent asked the minister directly at SARS's Pretoria offices.

After years of scandal and a R50-billion shortfall in revenue collection, President Cyril Ramaphosa in May appointed Nugent to lead the SARS inquiry into a...

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