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Sometimes a fire is just a fire. But when it burns on the same airbase where the Guptas landed nine years ago, and its smoke rises into a sky that has recently been filled with the charred remains of businesses and a parliament building, you’d be forgiven for imagining that you’re seeing the reeking legacy of Jacob Zuma rising up over Pretoria.

Even if it turns out to be little more than the result of a cadet tossing a non-standard-issue zol into the wrong vat of jet fuel, Sunday’s fire at Waterkloof Air Force Base remains a stark reminder of how far we’ve drifted as a country...

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