Last month there were the stories of indefinitely delayed refunds by SARS, documented from a visit to SARS and conversations with SARS victims at a particular SARS office. At the time I thought the rot was limited to private taxpayers as they make up the bulk of the taxpaying population, being easy targets and not having corporate tax shelters to hide behind, and so just dutifully, if not reluctantly swelling the coffers of a quintessentially corrupt regime.
Last Sunday evenings broadcast of Carte Blanche however not only confirmed the extent of the mismanagement within SARS, it also confirmed the extent of the corruption that allows information from SARS to be used to hijack companies, in order to fraudulently lay claim to tax refunds due to corporate customers.
It seems that South Africa has become an out of control country, unable to control the most basic aspects of good governance. All of the lack of control so evident in our society leads to wastage of valuable taxpayer funds. This leads to reduced social assistance to the needy, by diverting funds to the corrupt.
To have SARS suddenly becoming an accomplice to the systematic theft of public funds is just unthinkable. The fact that the band of thugs previously known as CIPRO is intrinsically involved comes as no surprise.
The real surprise and disappointment is that once again, a commercial undertaking such as Carte Blanche had to step forward to do the work of Law enforcement agencies, who have been aware of this practice for some time, as it is not the first case to come to the attention of the public.
Why are we the public being used as tax cannon fodder, while the institutions we fund stand by while massive fraud is perpetrated on the whole country?
It seems we have reached a point, where corruption has become government policy, and those who try to stop it, will be seen as the enemy.
Is this what we collectively fought for as a people, so that we could be free?