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Like many of us lately, I’ve been trying to find some sort of meaning in what is happening to our country. We’ve become almost inured to the endless deluge of corruption, the mindless destruction of public services, the degradation of any sort of body politic. We share the despair of our fellow citizens, that sense of being irrelevant collateral damage in the petty power games of the ANC and the hyenas that snuffle at its heels for scraps; of being the amuse-bouche to their greedy gorging.

At times, the crippling sense of impotence makes us numb. There’s the dull realisation that, as individuals, we seem to be powerless — and, as a society, too divided and broken — to change anything on the structural level. Occasionally, we are jolted out of that numbness by acts of unusual horror, like the burning alive in Diepsloot last week of Elvis Nyathi, a 43-year-old Zimbabwean whose crime, it appears, was that he was not South African enough...

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