When a patient is on their deathbed, desperately clinging to life, the patient and their relatives just want a doctor — any qualified doctor — to come in and save them. It matters not who the doctor is. What matters is that they at least try. In SA’s case, the government seems to be blind to the reality of the dying patient — in this case, the economy, which needs to be transferred to intensive care, with specialists, whoever they may be, to resuscitate them. But it may very well be too late.

There is no more powerful example of such desperation and pragmatism than businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo. Her recent book, Bassie: My Journey Of Hope, includes a chapter on her mother’s last years and the family’s desperate fight to keep her alive. A lifelong heart patient, Beatrice Makgalemele was introduced to cardiologist Wouter Basson, who successfully performed a delicate, life-saving operation on her.

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