Coming after the extended period of uncertainty in SA resulting from Jacob Zuma’s reluctance to resign, Cyril Ramaphosa’s first state of the nation speech restored dignity and decorum to parliament, and pressed all the right buttons. He was gracious to all — even giving thanks to Zuma for facilitating what the ANC has termed "the transition" — before launching into the delivery of a peroration which proclaimed the breaking of a new dawn. SA’s "moment of hope", which was to be founded on the legacy of Nelson Mandela, had returned. Ramaphosa combined extensive tribute to the heroes of the ANC’s liberation struggle with the gospel of social inclusion according to the Holy Writ of the Freedom Charter. This was time to move beyond the recent period of discord, disunity and disillusionment. The speech was delivered with panache and confidence. It had style, declaring to the nation and the world that he, Cyril Ramaphosa, was in charge. But along with the style, there was the solid substanc...

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