What could have become a significant crisis in the country developed last week, because of a series of really awful decisions made behind the scenes. These concerned giving updates to the nation about the health of our most valued citizen, Nelson Mandela.
It is not a matter of state security, of course. If anything, the situation was destabilised by their decisions. And it was not a matter of attending to Madiba's personal dignity and privacy - in fact, the way it was handled attracted far more attention and curiosity than necessary. Of course there was no need, unless he had wished it so, for pictures of the great man in bed, or intimate details of his physical condition. But the state of health of any present of former head of state is of natural and appropriate interest to the nation and the world, and it is our business, as it can have an impact on our lives.