When Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital last week, reaction was split. The black political class in SA hailed him as the unadulterated liberation hero who returned white farmlands to the black poor; “he made some mistakes along the way”, wrote an otherwise level-headed leader from a black opposition party right here at home.

Many black Zimbabweans celebrated the demise of a political villain who oversaw the death of 20,000 people in the horrific Matabeleland massacre and single-handedly destroyed a country once called “the breadbasket of Africa”. The only people who got any land, our neighbours reminded us, were the political elites in the ruling Zanu-PF party...

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