To lie and cheat is almost second nature to man.
There are many stories about these practices in Biblical times. The wily Jacob who cheated his brother out of his inheritance comes to mind.
The not so serious lies are called white lies or fibs which usually cause no big problems and are easily forgiven.
People lie for various reasons.
Many people do so to get out of trouble or when they are afraid. There is a lot of it going on in court at present with Oscar's trial.
Others lie to make a story funny or entertaining. Usually at parties when the drinks are flowing. Some magnificent lies are concocted when partners cheat on each other.
People also lie to find favour with others by telling them untruths that will boost their egos. It is called " gatkruip " in Afrikaans .
Salesmen lie to sell their wares. People who crave sympathy have stories about their misfortunes and many sufferings.
All in all there is a normal distribution of lies in a society except for a section known as politicians. Amongst them one will find a small number who are sincere in their intentions to serve their country. Helen Zille belongs to this group.
The majority unfortunately are compulsive liars. For them it is a way of life and they lie whether it is necessary or not. They can however only be successful if there is a sufficient number of naive gullible people who would fall for their lies and empty promises.
It is a treat to watch them in full flight just before an election.
Then they really let down their hair. When their supporters at some later time enquire about the promises they are ready with their glib lies.
These professionals are also good with excuses to exonerate themselves. Nothing is ever their fault.
A time proven excuse for almost everything that goes wrong is to blame apartheid. The other day the president blamed the use of violence during poor service delivery protests on apartheid.
The high crime rate , poor education , corruption , potholes, high rate of unemployment , poverty etc are all blamed on that bad old racist system.
It is not that there is no racial discrimination today but it is more palatable now because the ANC has given it a new name. It is called Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment.
One thing is clear, however, and that is that the present bunch of liars will be with us for at least another five years.