Wednesday. Just another day in the septic tank SA has become

Ideas

Wednesday. Just another day in the septic tank SA has become

A passer-by killed in the Wits protest, 15 years for theft, yet Fikile, Bheki and Ace soldier on. When will it end?

Columnist

If you steal a painting in SA, you go to jail for 15 years. If you happen to be near a protest in Braamfontein over student funding, there is a real chance you will be killed by the police. But loot a country or collapse a company such as Steinhoff and wipe out thousands of pensions, well, in the increasingly hollow words of our president: watch this space.

There is something in the volume, shallowness and flightiness of the news cycle that often acts as a kind of shock-absorber. The constant noise prevents us from hearing distant screams. By focusing on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, or Elon Musk’s latest theoretical net worth, or some Twitter feud between two mid-sized guppies in our tiny national fishbowl, we protect ourselves from having to read about the stuff that keeps scientists and honest police officers and investigative journalists up at night.

Sometimes, however, the news forces its way through...

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