Even as then soon-to-be-free Eskom CEO André de Ruyter warned that if proceedings went the applicants’ way in a collective court action, it could crash the national grid, a nasty little narrative was beginning to take root in the minds of some South Africans.

The delusion goes like this: the old regime was corrupt, but its thieves knew when to turn off the spigots of stolen money. They did not eat the whole chicken but, apparently, left some flesh behind so that the country would continue to run...

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