Fans of the late AA Gill will remember his life advice. Forty was crunch time. Don’t buy anything worth more than £1,000. “If you want to avoid a mid-life crisis,” he wrote, “then don’t buy one.” Getting past 60, however, was cool. It was where you got to “pick up the fruit of your life, the age when you start smoking again. Sixty is when you can offer opinions whether people want them or not.”

I’m well past 60, but I’ve been amazed at the response to some of my opinions here in the readers’ letters. Obviously only a few letters get published, but the one from a DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia a few weeks ago was extraordinary for its length and rage. I’d spotted him a few days before and remember wondering if he was chewing an Alka Seltzer.

Cachalia’s frothing was best expressed in the headline “This Bruce & Buffalo bromance is baffling”. I’ve been writing about the clear signs I think I see that a significant white vote may go to President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 as a tactic to diminish any possible hold the EFF may obtain over the ANC in the forthcoming elections. This mere musing has freaked the DA out completely. My judgment is poor, said Cachalia, and the record shows it. A follow-up letter the next week said much the same. Party leader Mmusi Maimane has written about it too and I see Jeremy Gordin going on about it somewhere. According to Gordin, Max du Preez and I are “being played”. Really? I have no contact with the ANC or its leader, so the playing must be incredibly subtle. Or perhaps it’s just Gordin — washed-up author of a cloying biography of Jacob Zuma and the only editor I know of who has managed to close down a pornographic magazine in this sex-starved country — making stuff up. A baying DA mob is not ...

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