ANTHONY BUTLER: Can Cyril Ramaphosa rescue SA from ruin?
What kind of president would Ramaphosa be? There are some positive indicators, as well as serious drawbacks
We can now assign roughly equal probabilities to three outcomes at the ANC’s December conference. These are: victory for a slate headed by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, a successful counterchallenge from ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and the postponement, or perhaps collapse, of the conference. The likelihood of any of the other widely touted outcomes – such as a win for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Jeff Radebe or Lindiwe Sisulu – is becoming vanishingly small. A Ramaphosa victory remains narrowly the most likely outcome. Mkhize still faces significant challenges as he cannibalises the beached whale Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign has become. Meanwhile, a collapsed or postponed conference would have disastrous implications; most ANC activists will strive to avoid it. If Ramaphosa does prevail, a new national executive committee will press for the removal of Jacob Zuma from the state presidency to avert a further economic crisis and institutional implosion. It will also begin prepara...