I had the temerity once to chide an editor in a note for ditching an editorial I had written and offering in its stead what I felt was “a nicely enough crafted piece of sentimentality at a time in our history when this sort of romanticism is a dangerous affliction”. He was gracious about it — and I was wise enough to acknowledge that, as editor, it was “his call” to make.

I was prompted to revisit my unpublished 290-odd words of wisdom — written in 2010, it was titled “Remembering Sharpeville” — for the most part by the unduly sanguine public reaction to the (at time of writing, recommended) postponement of the October municipal elections. Perhaps it’s a measure of the too-long-delayed dream of a better life that the very people who have the most to gain from democratic participation will discount it. “What’s the point?” many will say. “You can’t eat the vote.”..

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