Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day

Can ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa neutralise serial thug and conference stealer Ace Magashule? The answer will depend on how Ramaphosa exercises the authority handed to him by the party. An entire day at the ANC’s 54th national conference was spent trying to find the numbers to get Magashule booted out of office and replaced with Ramaphosa loyalist Senzo Mchunu. Rightly so, many argue, as Mchunu had delivered a significant chunk of votes from KwaZulu-Natal — the power base of Ramaphosa’s opponent, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. There has been much consternation about the election of David Mabuza as Ramaphosa’s deputy and Magashule as party secretary-general and whether or not they will hem him in and render him a lame duck. This entirely depends not on the conduct of the two former premier league Zuma-ites, but on Ramaphosa. He does not have to look far for examples of how he could render Mabuza and Magashule powerless — both his predecessors, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, did it well, albei...

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