There are two South Africans who are going to need backbones of steel next year. They are President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Prosecuting Authority’s new head, Shamila Batohi.

Batohi needs to take a near-destroyed NPA by the scruff of the neck, mend it and send lots of powerful people to jail – quickly. Ramaphosa must enable her to do her job.

If powerful players do not get charged in 2019 then the idea that crime in SA pays will be entrenched. If that becomes the norm then we will be adrift at sea without a compass. We will be lost.

There have to be consequences for wrongdoing. The great American jurist and Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was asked in an interview in 2012 where Egyptians should look to for inspiration as they wrote their post-revolution constitution. “I might look at the constitution of South Africa,” said Ginsburg. “It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.” Yet what use is our great constitution when it is trampled upon so recklessly, so effortlessly and so regularly with no consequence? What use is it when it gives us so much space to expose malfeasance yet we fail to use it to ensure accountability? We have known, as far back as 2010, that huge chunks of the SA state, and particularly the president of the republic at the time, serve a foreign family and their own pockets. We have had details of key personnel appointments being made not by the president of SA, but by this one family. Yet not a single person has been charged, let alone appeared in court or convic...

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