We wonder if President Jacob Zuma and his family, his state capture friends the Guptas, assorted hangers-on and out-and-out defenders believe that the people of South Africa will eventually get tired of their circus.
In parliament this week, the president faced down his opponents as he has done before, denying or avoiding or diverting.
He seemed as comfortable as anyone could be who knows there are likely to be no consequences for his behaviour.
But even as he was feeding the masses platitudes, rather than real action – by promising a proper probe into state capture – the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority were moving on his critics.
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, along with Trevor Manuel and other former finance department figures, are still being pursued in the Sars “rogue unit” investigation.
There have also been moves to shift sideways those civil servants left in the Treasury who were loyal to Gordhan … and who perhaps might be obstacles to any further plundering of state coffers.
Then we had the spectacle of Zuma’s son Duduzane, suavely denying he has ever been involved in corruption and proudly flaunting his relationship with the Gupta family, whom he described as his “brothers”.
All the while, we sit and wait for justice to be done … and nothing happens. Could this be The Empire Strikes Back, South African-style? Is this the start of the counter-offensive to put Zuma’s successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the driving seat of the ANC and then in the boss’ chair in Union Buildings?
The ANC’s stalwarts, whose “For the Sake of Our Future” campaign has gained wide traction, have warned that the country is in crisis and at a tipping point.
We hope only that the new arrogance being shown by the Zuma-Gupta camp is not an indication they believe they have already pushed civil society past that tipping point.