The question of whether to lift the lockdown and how has become crudely politicised. Those who advocate opening as much of the economy as possible are demonised as callous and selfish with a low regard for human lives. There is frequently a racial and political undertone: the privileged, who can seek private health care, stand accused of having little regard for the black poor who they are eager to damn to Covid-19.

On the other end of the spectrum, criticism of the hard lockdown has taken on racial overtones among white South Africans. The anger over the reversal of the ban on tobacco unleashed a torrent of abuse against minister of co-operative governance & traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of which much was misogynistic and racist...

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