You will notice I have said nothing, for a long time now, on the state of the nation. This is because I find it an increasingly gloomy countryside to be stumbling through, at my time of life, and after such sacrifice by so many, such hopes for freedom and democracy, such pride that South Africa could punch above its weight in world affairs – all looking increasingly naive, mistaken, illusory in the naked daylight of today’s ANC-dominated, dog-eat-dog, get-rich-quick South Africa.

South Africa’s erratic and puerile stand on Libya; the appointment of the Chief Justice; the arrogant indifference of the President and Party to the findings of the Public Protector on improper state leases; the Secrecy Bill; the land reform bill, the racist invective that provides an easy fall-back for venality and incompetence – Jimmy Manyi, Julius Malema and their ilk, the – well, the list goes on. And it is not the list, so much as the sense of a pattern, a trend, a culture, a slide towards the wrong historical exit, that so depresses.

Another five years of a venal, directionless, smugly indifferent Zuma presidency seems a pretty ghastly future for a once-proud country to contemplate.