This past week not only revealed to us the vulgarity and the violence of a disastrous scheme to destabilise the country, but also the capacity for solidarity and community in the face of a total collapse of law and order.
In the startling spool of images and footage to emerge from convulsions of violence and looting that have taken place in parts of KZN and Gauteng and which spread after the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, many have stood out.
But one in particular begs for a moment of pause.
It is a still taken from footage captured by BBC videographer and producer Thuthuka Zondi of two-year-old Melokhule Manyoni in freefall -- dressed in a nappy and red hoodie -- from the second floor and then the roof overhang of a burning Durban building.
The child was saved when she was caught in a human safety net made up of the strong, collective, outstretched arms of strangers.
"All I could do was trust complete strangers," the child's mother, Naledi Manyoni, told the BBC afterwards.
In many ways, South Africans have been dropped, steadily and slowly.
Dropped from a great height by a government and a ruling party crippled by...