One of the definitions of insanity, and one that has an irresistible logic, is the repetition of the same action in the hopes that it will have a different result, for instance, banging one’s head on a brick wall again and again, believing that the next bang will induce euphoria. But surely one knows banging one’s head against a brick wall will only dull one’s senses.

Alas, the ANC hoi polloi or more broadly the vast South African electorate seem hell-bent on placing the same trust in the same people they have done for 18 years and clinging ever more desperately to the forlorn hope that things will be different this time.

Why, why, why?

On what logical basis do they place that trust? What evidence has this government placed before us to suggest that it has even a glimmer of understanding of the perils it has placed all of us in?

As the tidal wave of corruption, thievery, looting and plundering by government ministers and their acolytes threatens to drown us all, and as nepotism brazenly flourishes, we determine to give our robber barons more time, however much they need, to complete the process of bankrupting the public purse.

And then the constitution, mere lip service is paid to it – their defiant actions simply illustrate their belief that it is just a piece of paper. Easily defied and perhaps torn up when the time is right. What other interpretation can be reached after a court decision to hand over the so-called spy tapes has been so mockingly ignored? And by agents of the law. This in a constitutional democracy.

What about Limpopo? The same criminals who have been identified and exposed in that province (which has always been poor, but is now even more so) still have their snouts in that shrinking trough. And their ill-educated children without even rudimentary textbooks are left to wallow in their ignorance.

What about the palace of Nkandla, what about the ministers swanning around in obscenely expensive chartered jets and limousines? Or the appalling state of public health care? Or the justice system scorned by politicians? Oh, the list goes on and on. And these are the people, the miscreants already fingered, who we will re-elect and re-elect.

The brick wall has nothing on this electorate’s masochism.

Ian Hughes

Melrose North, Joburg