Tim Cohen Senior editor: Business Day

Sometimes in the national debate you just don’t know where to start. Perhaps the best way to start is to just put your cards on the table: I have to say, I’m terribly disturbed by the way the land debate is unfolding. The ANC, its supporters and many of my own colleagues have been falling over themselves this past week to urge that I should be reasonable and rational and should not at all "panic". It’s funny how when people tell you not to panic you just know it’s definitely time to panic. Yet, in a way I agree. White South Africans should not panic; racial minorities have a way of choosing the most paranoid interpretation (until it turns out to be true, in which case they weren’t paranoid enough). It probably won’t turn out as badly as they imagine. I actually think the people who should panic are black South Africans, but we will get to that. White South Africans need to understand (as they do) that political pressures cannot be ignored, and shouldn’t be. The political process is ...

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