Observers of the British media could be forgiven for believing that the only thing happening in South Africa - and the only event of note since last year's Marikana massacre - was Oscar Pistorius being granted bail.
Wall-to-wall coverage, complete with interviews from the families of Pistorius and of his girlfriend whom he shot dead, indicates once more the pull of celebrity.
Even before today's bail decision, there had been complaints about "special treatment" for the accused because of his status.
The African National Congress Women's League opposed bail for Pistorius on the grounds that violence against women is still trivialised in South Africa.
The women's league noted that he had been allowed to stay in a local police station holding cell rather than being committed "to Central Prison or Newlock like all other awaiting trial or awaiting bail prisoners.
"A strong message must be sent out that wealth and celebrity cannot give you an advantage over the law," it said.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Medupi Simasiku said that the court had agreed to the arrangement so that Pistorius could meet his defence team out of hours.
"It's not a common practice, but it is a decision of the court," he explained.
Whether this decision is legitimate or not, many inmates banged up in Pretoria's Central Prison may speculate why they too should not be allowed alternative arrangements to facilitate after-hours meetings with lawyers.
It is a graphic illustration of the still sharp divisions within South African society based on both race and class, which were given full voice in this week's debate on President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation speech on the national development plan to a joint sitting of parliament.
Zuma made much of recent decisions by Unilever and Nestle to invest heavily in South Africa and quoted the World Bank, Transparency International and the World Economic Forum to the effect that the country is among the highest-ranked emerging markets.
"More importantly, investors also realise these advantages and are continuing to invest in South Africa. Our tax relief incentives, announced in 2011, have resulted in an increase in foreign direct investment," he declared.
The president recognised progress made in treating HIV/Aids since he reversed his predecessor Thabo Mbeki's decision not to make anti-retrovirals available to patients.
"The past trend of declining life expectancy has been reversed and life expectancy is now firmly on an upward trend," he said.
Zuma drew attention to the government decision to move beyond the "willing buyer, willing seller" principle to the notion of "just and equitable" in terms of expropriation of land.
He agreed with Azanian People's Organisation MP Jacob Dikobo that people should disabuse themselves "of the notion that ownership of land and farms by Africans represents a threat to food security."
The prospect of private land being transferred to African small farmers drew the ire of Lindiwe Mazibuko, who plays the part of opposition parliamentary leader for the Democratic Alliance (DA) while the real boss Helen Zille runs the Western Cape province for DA.
Mazibuko stuck with the "willing buyer, willing seller" line, insisting that the government should restrict itself to "utilising state land for reform, individual land tenure, and equitable share schemes," which would leave prime agricultural land in the hands of the same white minority that seized it totally by force of arms and legislation a century ago.
Farm workers achieved a pay rise recently following strike action in the De Doorns and Wolesley districts of the Western Cape in November, during which two workers were shot dead by police.
The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) warned this week that it was ready for further strikes in the face of claims that police, labour brokers and farmers have targeted seasonal workers from Zimbabwe and Lesotho whom they accuse of spearheading the earlier action.
Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said that this unholy alliance was intent on punishing farm workers "for having engaged in historically unprecedented strike action in pursuit of their demands."
He urged Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor to grant the workers documentation and end deportations.
Trade union confederation Cosatu Western Cape provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich voiced his concern over "an orchestrated political attempt by farmers to circumvent and undermine new minimum wages," include threats to sack workers.
Cosatu is committed to working with farmers for fairer prices from the retail sector, but it will not accept blackmail of farm workers.
"We call on government to expropriate the farms of those farmers who refuse to co-operate with minimal compensation," said Ehrenreich.
His North West province counterpart Solly Phetoe highlighted sackings by farmers in the Lichtenburg area, replacing workers with migrant or temporary labour. He accused farmers of displaying "a racist and apartheid attitude."
Cosatu North West is organising mass action on Saturday March 2 to protest against unfair dismissals.
"All those farmers who are dismissing workers must be blacklisted and their products must be boycotted both in the country and internationally," Phetoe declared.
However, whether the massed ranks of the bourgeois media camped in and around the Pretoria magistrates court can spare any staff to report on these events remains questionable.
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