South Africa is said to have had one of the harshest lockdowns in the world. Considering the company we keep that is indeed a harsh appraisal. We also have a baneful distinction, together with countries such as China (and some of the neo-Marxist states of the United States) of having endured one of the most authoritarian regimes. The language of lockdown says all we need to know in that regard. The somewhat secretive composition of the Coronavirus Command Council – until it was a secret no more – whose brief it was to advise, to command, or both, was derived, one may surmise, from the equally secretive KGB, whose authority was based upon no law known to man.