Petronella Wyatt

Lies and more lies

The ongoing escapades of London's answer to Ally McBeal

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Spending any length of time in South Africa is both an uplifting and sobering experience. Uplifting because for an English visitor the days are an unbroken series of blue skies, the food and the clothes are cheap (by British standards) and of high quality, and the countryside remains wholly breathtaking.

But, there are too many buts. Knowing South Africa well, as I have begun to do, since my brother moved to Johannesburg a few years ago, brings with it the realisation that the West takes so very little notice, or remains in ignorance, of the worsening problems of this nation. Rainbows? I don’t think so. More like the desert travellers’ mirage of an oasis. Alternatively, similar to some of Napoleon III’s much-vaunted architecture for the less well-off — pretty fa