Even to a layman Judge Chris Nicholson's ruling that effectively set aside Jacob Zuma's prosecution on more than 100 counts of corruption seemed weird.
Here was a high court judge pontificating on political speculation and ruling on matters that had not been tested in his court.
So no surprise that a full bench of five of his colleagues at the appeals court overturned his judgment. But the distressed judges also pulled no punches and used language bordering on the intemperate to rip Nicholson's ruling to shreds.
Too late; the damage has been done. The ANC had seized on Nicholson's judgment to recall Mbeki as president, the party broke in two and we got a foretaste of life in a Zuma-Nzimande-Vavi-Malema regime.
Whatever happens now, we cannot afford to endure more of this scrapping.
Viva to the judges who doggedly proved the strength of our democratic institutions and showed that no one is above the law. But we hope the looming battle doesn't tear this nation apart.
This nation can't afford a president with a cloud of impropriety hanging over his head. Maybe it's time to offer Zuma a deal: he drops out of politics to retire to Nkandla with his latest wives and we, a little wiser, try to rebuild a unified nation.