For a moment a rugby match united us, and we forgot that the country has descended into destructive social-media racial warfare.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Every so often South Africa breaks your heart.

Sometimes this beautiful country fills your heart to bursting point with hope and inspiration‚ then the next moment it – and its politicians in particular – will drive you to the point of despair.

On Saturday‚ Siya Kolisi and his Springboks came back from 20 points down to an exhilarating‚ unbelievable victory that made fans of the national team believe in it again. For a few moments‚ a country that has descended into mainly destructive social-media racial warfare was reminded that we are all human‚ all South African. For a moment‚ hope beat hard in our hearts.

For a moment we united behind a bunch of young people representing our nation‚ forgetting that it was just a few days before that Floyd Shivambu‚ a leader of the EFF and member of parliament‚ had insulted the minister of finance‚ the director-general of the National Treasury and other officials by saying that they were cowed by‚ specifically‚ a South African of Indian origin.

His racism was palpable as his party started circulating propaganda about “Indian influence” in the ANC. Idi Amin‚ where are you?

Despair settles in one’s heart at the utterances and actions of politicians such as Shivambu.