At the beginning of October, when I flew overseas, the country was at the centre of a convergence of crises including a prolonged drought, a new wave of university uprisings, the conflict surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the South African Revenue Service and the Hawks, as well as accusations of state capture by powerful business interests. I did not expect that, about a month later, when I returned home, all these conflicts would have quickly escalated, plunging our nation into widespread institutional chaos. All the failures are largely or completely home-made, attesting to a serious governance collapse. I’m not surprised many groups in society have become extremely vocal in calling for the resignation of the government and the replacement of the top leadership. There is no point in blaming international circumstances: the predicament is of our own making. Good governance is not the result of progressive constitutions and intelligent laws, although both can contribute t...

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