While Peter Bruce was in conversation with Jacques Pauw at his book launch of "The President's Keepers" at Exclusive Books Hyde Park, the lights went out. While Nomboniso Gasa was in conversation with Ronnie Kasrils as his book launch of "A Simple Man" at Love Books in Melville the lights came on. At least for me. Ronnie's account of the fallout between himself and his former comrade Jacob Zuma reminded me of the fallout between Olive Schreiner and Cecil John Rhodes. Olive Schreiner initially idolised Rhodes, and developed a chemistry with him of a particular compound. No other woman came close to cracking the formula. “An accident to him would, I believe, mean the putting back of our South African development for fifty years,” she wrote to a friend when Rhodes was travelling in Mashonaland. When she heard he had returned safely she was relieved, but shortly afterwards woke in the night and found herself, ‘standing on the floor in the middle of my room, crying and wringing my hands....

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