The recent Easter weekend coincided with the intensification of campaigning for the upcoming general elections.

The double advantage of a large audience and the ennoblement of the speakers with the blessings of a higher authority created a magnet for politicians to harangue congregations across the country.

There were no reports of any of the political preachers offering what I judge to be the singular biblical verse that sums up the parlous and penurious state of our national coffers and our dismal growth prospects.

In Malachi 3:10 it is written: Bring to the full storehouse a full tenth of what you earn … I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need. That is scant comfort to the hard-pressed taxpayer and the recipients of sub-par services. But it is a pretty good working description for how the public purse has been pillaged and the looters and scammers in high office have been enriched or “blessed”. ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule enjoyed the moniker “Mr Ten Percent” during his reign of ruin as premier of the Free State. A legal luminary of my acquaintance recently read the graphic detail in Gangster State — Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture by Pieter-Louis Myburgh. On finishing this depressing read of corruption — and worse — he advised: “Every one of its 390 pages, more or less, is the basis for numerous criminal charges, and provides the essence of an elaborate charge sheet.” Of course, there has been no sign yet of the much-hyped, new-mana...

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