Siller, one of the world’s top five brewing companies, has over 150 brands, including my all time favorite Appletiser and my buddy's most prized beer, Castle Lager, an award-winning concoction introduced to the market over a century ago, in 1895.

The company, which used to benefit from the migrant labor system, received a major boost when the apartheid system formalised racial segregation as a means of cheapening labor and access to South Africa’s vast mineral resources and agricultural land.

One 'Rand Lord', the German-born George Albu, founder of Genmin (later Gencor, now BHP Billiton - one of the largest mining concerns in the world), proposed in the late 1890s, that legislation be created to devalue the labor of black people ('The law is not the same for the kaffir as for the white man,' he said).

The Land Act of 1913, a piece of legislation known as the 'original sin,'- appropriatied 87% of land for whites (originally 93%), with just 13% of largely arid land reserved for native peoples.. Statutory racism intentionally created a climate of dispossessed people anxious to secure employment by way of major companies.

By 1902, the only non-mining company with significant volumes of invested capital was SAB. Developments off the market mattered too: In 1962, the prohibition against consumption of alchohol by black laborers was lifted, much to SAB's relief. They claimed native peoples were suffering from the effects of the illicit alchohol industry.

'Kaffirs' forced to carry the dompas (documentation) could at least drink the good stuff. (By 2005, 8 of 10 favorite beers in South Africa carried SAB trademarks!). Even in Zimbabwe, until recently wracked by inflation, unemployment, and overall hell, turnover has increased by 51% for Zimbabwe's largest beverage firm Delta Corporation, in which SABMiller holds 36.8% stake.

Aside from the booze (and in my case, the Appletiser) it might be said that South Africa - then and now - receives little of the benefits: Major multinationals quickly shifted headquarters to London following liberation from apartheid (1994), facilitating capital flight. This was a policy approved of by the democratically elected government of South Africa, heavily indebted, and eager to provide economic capitulation in exchange for the political support of multinational corporation.

During apartheid, as the battle between the regime's protectionists heated up against neoliberal market-players, companies like Anglo-American began voicing their corporate opposition to the financial impact of sanctions on profit, coupled with that of travel restrictions of laborers and 'wasteful', bloated and expensive state-financed industries. As Anglo's chairman Harry Oppenheimer stated in 1985, "Nationalist policies have made it impossible to make proper use of Black labor."

But long before that, more specifically during the 1970s and 1980s, when sanctions on the apartheid regime hit the country's economy hard, SAB relocated to the Netherlands (a 'conduit' country used extensively for shifting corporate profits) to circumvent sanctions and expand into international markets.

Initially called Niagara 18 BV, SAB ceded trademarks, and other forms of intangible assets to holding companies as a means of shifting profits to low-tax regions. Revenues are remitted to 'resident' regions such as the Netherlands, on the receiving end of royalty payments from lucrative brands such as Carling Black Label.

The benefits of a Dutch holding company includes no requirement to have local economic substance, little or no taxation on repatriated profits, and full tax exemption on capital gains and dividends received from qualifying subsidiaries. Holding companies such as these are cheap and easy to incorporate and administer.

SABMiller Africa and Asia BV and SABMiller Africa BV act as holding companies handling subsidiaries in these regions, while SABMiller International BV, remains the trademark owner. While not technically illegal, aggressive tax avoidance is certainly unethical and contrary to the spirit of the law.

Of course, when it comes to protection of the trademark, such as the satirical t-shirt (Black Labor, White Guilt) created by a company in SA playing off the Company, SAB was quick to go to court in defense of their corporate rights, reputation and the impact on intangible assets.

Why then does this not extend to the rights of others?

When governments allow for the uber-wealthy to avoid basic duties to the societies in which they operate, the financial burden shifts to the middle and low income groups. While the best and brightest deserve their privileges, rule of law was determined to ensure that such is earned fairly.

Opting out of societies, after aggressively reaping full benefits, should not be an option.