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Rhodes graduates score 100% pass rate in SAICA qualifying examinations

Date Released: Mon, 2 February 2015 11:00 +0200

100% of the Rhodes graduates who wrote the SAICA Initial Test of Competence examinations in 2014 passed. This places Rhodes in an elite group as only four Universities, out of the fifteen SAICA-accredited Universities in South Africa who achieved this pass rate. 


At a stylish event held at the offices of the legal firm Norton Rose Fullbright in Sandton, Johannesburg on the 9th October 2014, David Grenville was awarded the prize for the best master’s degree thesis in taxation in 2013.  David studied in the Department of Accounting, under the supervision of Professor Lilla Stack.

The National Tax Thesis Competition is in its sixth year and invites graduates to submit technical reports, dissertations, treatises or theses.  The joint sponsors of the competition are Norton Rose Fullbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).  At master’s degree level, the prize for the winner is a generous R20 000 and the department in which the winner read for the degree is awarded an amount of R15 000.

Clearly the competition for the prizes is fierce and the adjudication process rigorous. David’s thesis is entitled:A Critical Analysis of the Practical Man Principle in Commissioner for Inland Revenue v Lever Brothers and Unilever Ltd.  An extract from the report of the examiner (an advocate of the High Court who specializes in the tax field) who is appointed for the purpose of the competition, reads as follows:

The student clearly pondered over every aspect of this topic and made some thought provoking observations.  For instance, he observed that changes in social attitude are reflected in changes of judicial approach and pointed out various aspects of the Lever Brothers case which may be regarded as relics of the past. . . . This was a truly exceptional piece of work which (despite the originality of its content) was replete with references to relevant cases and other authorities.

David’s supervisor, Professor Stack, describes him as one of the best students she has worked with in her many years of supervising students and considers it remarkable that he achieved his master’s degree in only one year.