I was in the audience last week for a recording of al Jazeera’s flagship interview programme, Head To Head, that is scheduled for broadcast on Friday evening. The guest was former deputy president and speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete.

It was a dismal experience, leaving me and many others depressed, listless and bad-tempered. It is not just that Mbete’s performance was shockingly bad. Something more epic than mere incompetence was on display. It was as if the sheer rottenness of what happened under Jacob Zuma spilled from the stage.

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