What possessed Malusi Gigaba to appoint Wits professor and Marxist economist Chris Malikane as his economic adviser? Gigaba wants to succeed as finance minister and win the respect of investors and the market. But this appointment sends the opposite message. His team argues that Malikane’s appointment is a strategic decision intended as a message to the left that Gigaba is open-minded. And, they say, Malikane as an adviser won’t make policy and his influence will be more than balanced by the Treasury’s "conservative" public finance experts. But why appoint him at all if his advice is seldom to be taken? Can Gigaba really think that it is possible to play both sides and look left while walking right? Malikane is one of only a few left ideologues in SA who can provide an internally coherent economic argument of the concept of radical economic transformation. His plan, though, would be ruinous for the economy. Malikane argues that the economy and all social institutions are in the grip...

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