The Constitutional Court judgment against Jacob Zuma on Wednesday, and the sentencing of the former grafter-in-chief to 15 months in prison for contempt, sent a nation desperate for good news into a temporary state of glee. We knew it would be short-lived; soon the reminders that we are living in a locked-down, beaten-down country would pervade again.

For a brief moment, it felt good to bask in a win for the rule of law — one for the good guys. A tick in the “pros” column of Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency. A sign of hope...

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