You know it’s election season when normally moderately sensible politicians start making silly statements. This weekend it was Western Cape premier Helen Zille’s turn when she conditionally endorsed a tax revolt. Even on the most favourable interpretation, it’s hard to credit, and DA leader Mmusi Maimane rightly distanced himself from it. Zille’s argument that if after a time no-one is arrested and charged for the “industrial-scale” corruption we hear about daily from the Zondo commission and elsewhere, South Africans will be duty-bound to seek an alternative. The problems with the argument are many. First, it obviates the logic of democracy for a portion of the population to decide whether it is justified to refuse to comply with the law. Second, in the SA context, Zille’s argument would only really work if there had been no changes in government in response to corruption. But the past 10 months have seen some enormous changes, starting of course with the early departure of the pre...

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