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Did Lindiwe Sisulu apologise for her recent crass remarks, as the presidency maintains — or not, as she insists? It doesn’t matter. Everybody knows the tourism minister’s assault on the constitution and black judges was an unscrupulous gambit to defenestrate President Cyril Ramaphosa. So any apology would be as fake as her newfound passion for “decolonising” bombast. Frankly, most apologies these days from public figures have become a hollow ritual.

Simultaneously, former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was ordered by the judicial conduct appeals committee to apologise. His fault was to become embroiled in political controversy, asserting in 2020 his love of Israel. At the time, the former chief justice defended himself, and in a subsequent affidavit stated that he was merely fulfilling his religious duty. He may, or may not, apologise. But everyone knows what he really thinks. In the age of social media, the modern apology has dwindled into a hypocritical gesture...

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