Neels Blom Writer at large

Consider the term perduellion. It means more or less the same thing as perfidy, its etymological cousin, but it survives in English in specific reference to the crime of high treason. Perdition, another relative via Latin, is the irrevocable ruin that awaits those who commit heinous crimes against the state. These dark ideas emerge because the South African state is undeniably in peril. Its body politic and its institutions, its customs and its law, its resources, its honour, its sovereignty and security, and everything else to which the country’s citizens owe allegiance, are being subverted. It means the republic could well be a crime scene entire, so we must tread carefully lest we contaminate the evidence against the day of reckoning. The crime of high treason, however, is obsolete in SA, where we no longer owe allegiance to a monarch as the embodiment of the state. Treason, on the other hand, can occur in a democracy where citizens constitute the state and in which its constitut...

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