There is an expression about politics that is almost as old as language itself. It is first recorded in Latin as “in regione caecorum rex est luscus”. Nowadays it is usually translated as “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. In our context, where lawlessness, political power and general malfeasance appear to rule supreme, another twist on this line could be “In the land of the dishonest, an honest man is a kingmaker”. People who simply do their jobs, like the former Public Protector, judges who adhere to their vows to protect the Constitution, and police officers who are not corrupt, are hailed as heroes. This gives a chance to those politicians who are honest, who have a track record of being trustworthy. Just by doing the right thing, they can make a mark for themselves, and use that as a building block for something much bigger. Jackson Mthembu is just such a person. By STEPHEN GROOTES.