On Wednesday came the tragic news of the deaths of three teenage pupils in Newlands East after a taxi is alleged to have shot a red light on a busy road. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency/ANA
With some of the Ramaphoria dust having rubbed off on me, I reckon I’m normally a fairly optimistic guy.

That was until I read the news last week and feared my beloved country was drifting like a rudderless vessel into a sea of moral decay.

The first news item is not new. It’s been a running story ever since the gluttonous Guptas set foot here to raid our coffers.

Every time I read stories about state capture, I’m driven to despondency by the orgy of looting, fraud and corruption and the dishonesty of many of our leaders complicit in the wholesale plunder.

The second news item related to education which Nelson Mandela urged us to use as a powerful weapon to change the world.

But did our leaders listen?

Well, they have made some advances but these have been largely overshadowed by a growing culture of impatience, entitlement and destructive protests at many tertiary institutions which the authorities seem incapable of controlling.

But even more depressing was a news item regarding basic education that spoke volumes about the balance of power and respect in many of our classrooms.

It was about a programme being launched by the South African Council for Educators to protect teachers in the classroom

Yes, you heard right - protecting teachers in the classroom.

As one teacher was quoted as saying:

“We never feared our teachers, we simply respected their authority in the classroom. Now a pupil will stand up and challenge you. If they are rowdy and want to cause trouble, as a teacher you cannot reprimand them. They will take you on.”

The third news item has much to do with gender and personal morality which sunk to a new low when the ruling ANC made the astonishing admission it did not have a policy on sexual harassment in place.

This coming at a time when two of the party’s leading lights, Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa, have taken leave from their duties in the face of serious sexual harassment accusations.

How are people expected to believe the party is serious about gender equality and morality when it hasn’t bothered to formulate a sexual harassment policy after 25 years of democracy?

Then, on Wednesday, came the tragic news of the deaths of three teenage pupils in Newlands East after a taxi is alleged to have shot a red light on a busy road. When will our leaders have the guts to stand up to these killers on wheels who are a virtual law unto themselves?

Have our leaders lost their moral compasses? Has the time come for civil society to fight back and resurrect a programme of moral regeneration our country so desperately needs?

This scourge of moral decay has to stop if our hard-fought democracy has any chance of survival.