The ANC missed an opportune moment in March 2016, when it failed to take any meaningful action after the Constitutional Court delivered its stinging judgment on Nkandla. Any pretence at self-correction was betrayed by the governing party rallying around President Jacob Zuma. The apologies from Zuma and the ANC for the "confusion caused" by the Nkandla debacle left a bitter aftertaste with the electorate. On March 31, the nation watched as Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, flanked by other Constitutional Court justices, read out the judgment that left no doubt about the public protector’s powers and the need to comply with the office’s remedial action. The judgment was widely hailed as cautious, clear and decisive in equal measure in dealing with the delicate legal and political issues.

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