Bruce’s List: A guide to informed reads. President Jacob Zuma’s decision to deploy (though his statement used the word “employment”, which is what the constitution uses) 441 soldiers at the opening of parliament and the state of the nation address tomorrow is not only stupid, it is dangerous, for him, on a number of levels. (It needs to be said that Zuma has ordered the employment exactly as the constitution says he should in cases where the defence force operates “in co-operation with the police service”). It’s still a rotten idea though. First, soldiers are not schooled in maintaining public order. Nonetheless, they will be carrying rifles with live ammunition. The safety on an automatic rifle is a mere flick of the thumb while your finger is already on the trigger. In addition, the likelihood that the soldiers will be ordered to fix their bayonets in the course of the day is real. Even if no shot is fired, even if no bayonet is used in anger, the photographs graphically showing a...

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