My fellow Business Day columnist, Gareth van Onselen, has decried the “political correctness” that underlies support for president Cyril Ramaphosa. Giving this much-abused term a more specific application, Van Onselen refers to the “conventional sentiment” that leads members of the news and social media commentariat, members of the ANC and members of the public alike to give Ramaphosa the benefit of the doubt. Set against this “uniformity of thought” are the few “contrarians” and “iconoclasts” who affirm that neither Ramaphosa nor his party offer SA any hope.

This interpretation of our political discourse gives, by turns, too little and too much credit to the people who produce it. Most who would rather see Ramaphosa remain our president hold this view not because they are “mental slaves” who are blind to the man’s shortcomings or to his party’s irredeemable stagnation, but because they are realists who don’t want DD Mabuza and his ilk on top. Likewise, it is not self-evident...

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