PRETORIA, South Africa — The nation's tax chief steeled himself. Chiding and pleading with President Jacob Zuma to get him to file his taxes — much less pay the full amount — was always an excruciating task. And it kept getting worse. One of the president's sons, a nephew and countless business allies had serious tax problems as well, four former senior officials said, alarming investigators and leaving them wondering what to do. South Africa's young democracy had depended on the faith — and taxes — of its people since the end of apartheid, so the risks were evident. If the leader of the African National Congress, his relatives and his influential associates could dodge their tax duties, the rest of the country might shirk them, too, hollowing out the government's ability to function at the most basic level. The tax commissioner, Ivan Pillay, said he tried to be discreet, visiting the president several times from 2012 to 2014 to prod him to comply. "If I am in the way, just tell me and I'll go," Mr. Pillay said in a rare interview, recounting his conversations with Mr. Zuma. "I won't like it, but I'll go. I'm a disciplined member… Read full this story
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