Let us set aside any doubts about President Cyril Ramaphosa wanting to fight corruption in our state institutions. He has taken some important initial steps that indicate the direction he wishes to go. The real question is whether he has the power to do so.

Ramaphosa clearly has substantial power with respect to appointments at the top level of state institutions, but we now know that corruption has seeped down to some of the smallest municipalities, and it is not at all clear that the president’s wishes find any purchase there, and indeed even at provincial level...

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