President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates newly appointed NPA head Shamila Batohi. Photo: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
This is my last Daily Voice contribution of the year.

The next time you hear from me, it will be the first day of 2019.

Just like that, another year has flown by. And it did so in every way besides uneventful.

We enter the year of our sixth national elections, with probably THE most upsetting political period in our short democratic history behind us.

So if your Christmas stocking looked disappointingly lean and holey this year, allow me to lift your mood by explaining how Santa came early for all of us this year.

Of course the most obvious pressie we got was the implosion of Jacob Zuma’s tyrannical house of cards and the recent ruling on his legal fees.

Not only are we rid of our greatest leadership disaster, but with him went the poster family of state capture - the Guptas, who are currently hiding out in the emirate of Dubai.

Speaking of which, next year’s Christmas present may well be the Guptas delivered to us in handcuffs, thanks to an extradition treaty that was signed with the United Arab Emirates this year.

IMPLOSION: Former President Jacob Zuma, not the taxpayer, has to foot his legal fees’ bill

Seeing them in the accused dock, the way we have been seeing Zuma this year, would certainly make for a wonderful Christmas 2019.

So we’d better start getting our letters to Santa in early next year.

Which brings me to what is arguably the coolest thing in our early Christmas stocking this year - Shamila Batohi.

Having a new independent chief prosecutor in the form of a no-nonsense woman of colour, who was selected in a transparent process for us all to witness and agree with, is the same as getting that one Christmas present you desperately wanted, but didn’t bother asking for, because you didn’t think Santa could afford it.

Batohi is going to be the gift that’ll keep on giving. For example, while she hasn’t even seen the inside of her new office yet, the sexual assault charges against Marius Fransman have already been reinstituted.

The charges against the former provincial ANC leader were dropped in 2016, but this new development could be seen as a trailer of what lies ahead for politically sensitive criminal cases under Batohi.

SACKED: Former SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane

We have received so many other gifts already this year that it’s impossible to mention all of them. The Nugent and State Capture commissions deserve special mention, and Santa also deserves milk and cookies from all of us for some other cool gifts in the form of the return of Pravin Gordhan and the new bosses of State-Owned Enterprises.

Prasa has a new board and CEO, which is hopefully going to help our ongoing Metrorail issues.

Eskom also has a new CEO after the disaster that was Brian “Saxonwold Shebeen” Molefe.

And the same goes for Transnet, while SARS is finally rid of Commissioner Tom Moyane, who is now hoping the Constitutional Court will come to his defence.

But so far, it’s all gone according to a predictable Christmas movie script where good prevails, so I suspect his chances are next to nothing.

And even though these may all be some ANC trouble-shooting ahead of the elections, they are still wonderful near-miracles that didn’t seem possible last Christmas. So let’s celebrate them!

Maybe Santa didn’t bring you the thing you most desire, but rest assured, he has responded beautifully to our collective wishes as a country.

So go have another look inside your stocking; that faint glow you see in the corner at the bottom is our neatly-wrapped Christmas present.

It’s called a light at the end of the tunnel for democratic justice in action.

And like any precious, fragile gift, let’s take good care of it. Store it somewhere safe and every five years, take it out and give it a good spit and polish.

Don’t let the other irresponsible kids play with it and break it. It would be lovely to discover it again one day in our old age.

Then we’d be able to tell our grandkids about the time we received it and what a wonderfully hopeful time it was. We can tell them about how jealously we guarded it over the years.

Then we can pass it on to them with pride and ask them to do the same.

Happy New Year everyone! May the season’s blessings fill your heart and your home!