Once, it would have been a solid play by higher education minister Naledi Pandor. But on Sunday, when she read the instructions printed on the front of the red box — “In case of electoral dumpster fire, break glass” — and cracked it open with a little silver hammer, nobody really seemed to care. On paper, settling student debts totalling R967m was good electioneering, but when it comes to the ANC that paper is toilet paper. We are now so deep in the muck that when some official pulls a rabbit out of a hat my first instinct is to assume the rabbit is dead and to ask where they stole the hat. To be fair, the ANC isn’t the only party that seems to have lost the will to campaign. None of the other major contenders has found new or interesting ways to make the same old promises. Then again, perhaps that’s inevitable just six weeks before an election. There’s lots of talk of winning undecided votes, and the comment and analysis pours out as if there is everything to play for. But politici...

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