At last, said many anxious and angry South Africans as they watched CNN’s Richard Quest lay into our politicians at Davos: finally, somebody is telling it like it is. In related news, I would like to send my thought and prayers to all the SA whistle-blowers, journalists and analysts in the country who have been telling it like it is for the past decade but who remain, apparently, nobody.

Where does this instinct come from, to diminish or even ignore the thorough, detailed testimony of South Africans and instead gorge upon a few pithy sentences growled by a distant observer? No doubt some of it comes from the largely unconscious belief held by a few of my more sunburned compatriots that, at some point, the northern hemisphere will call time on its colonial project and send a gunboat down here to sort things out. If you are the kind of person who appeals to Donald Trump to impose sanctions on your own country, then Quest’s disdain must sound like the glorious chug-chug of HMS St...

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