It seemed like just another day at the Umlazi court. I stood on the veranda outside my office, sipping my coffee as I waited for the new dockets to arrive. The morning light was mild and had a bluish softness: it was the end of winter, or the beginning of spring. A loud rapping on my office door put an end to my speculation. The police liaison officer, his bull neck straining at the collar of his uniform, stood on the threshold, several buff-coloured police dockets in his hands.