History will record that it was on the very week of the fifth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death — the tail end of yearlong activities marking his centenary — that parliament decided to begin the process to emasculate perhaps his most shining and enduring legacy: the South African constitution. The timing was apposite.

To say MPs were dancing on Mandela’s grave is perhaps putting it too strongly, but the timing was almost unreal.

The decision to fiddle with the constitution in order to allow for expropriation of land or property without any recourse to lawful means will be no simple or straightforward amendment.

It almost feels like a violation of a sacred text. It is a momentous decision that’ll tinker with the very essence of society, and will fundamentally change the order of things.

Which is obviously what is intended, but where that takes us as a nation, nobody has a clue. Scary.

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