The higher-education student protests, necessary as they are, could do exactly the same thing to the future of universities. The real losers, once again, will be poor, black youth - not the middle classes, who have the financial capacity to opt out of the public system for studies elsewhere, even abroad.
A great breakfast, an even better discussion and we left posing for photos on the now very busy street outside.
Last week I had posted a Facebook message predicting that the vote of no confidence would fail; I could not see where the required 201 votes would come from. There are still too many party faithful dependent on the president for their positions.
A new president, cabinet and the government would render many of them unemployable. The politics of the tummy, some call it. Open or secret voting, we are not there yet.
But it came close - 177 for the motion, 198 against. Never before had so many ruling party politicians voted against their own president, about 30 of them.
Regardless, what was happening on the streets was a testimony to the growing strength of our democracy. Ordinary people came and expressed themselves against but also for the president. People stood into the night to await the vote count.
The events of the day seemed peaceful and there was no "major public incident" as far as I know. The vote was announced. Some stayed to celebrate. The majority went home.
Yet that long day would end with typical whiplash for South Africans. From the disappointment of the parliamentary vote in Cape Town, over in London our star athlete Wayde van Niekerk reclaimed his World Championship title as the fastest man on the planet over 400m.
We continue to live in hope.