Hilary Joffe Columnist

The world’s leading financial publications have been giving SA some prominent column centimetres. And the picture painted by The Economist, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal is not a pretty one. The Economist’s cover story this week, with the South African flag shaped into a serpent, is titled "The Corruption of SA", with a lengthy cover story on state capture and an editorial in which it argues: "To avoid a dire, two-decade dynasty of dysfunction, SA’s ruling ANC should ditch the Zumas." An Economist cover on SA is a relatively rare event. In the past several years there have been only two others. "Invictus", in December 2013, commemorated the death of Nelson Mandela. Another, just over five years ago, picked up the turning point in SA’s fortunes in the wake of the Marikana killings in 2012.Anyone who has forgotten how far back the rot goes might read that cover, titled Cry the beloved country, in which the magazine argues that while Africa, which The Economist once ...

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