James Blob knocked on the dark mahogany door and pushed it open. M looked up from his game of Candy Crush with a look of mild relief. “Ah, 007,” he barked. “Thank God. This game really sucks you in. Heavens, look at the time.”

Blob shrugged and took a cigarette out of the silver case he kept in his breast pocket. It was the job, and there was no-one better at the job than Blob, one of just an elite handful of agents in the SA State Security Agency to be rated double-O: licensed to kill time.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now