So the ANC emerges out of the election that was supposed to decide its fate as the same ANC that existed before the vote — with some new wrinkles. Since organisations don’t usually turn into something else overnight this, despite some of the shock which has greeted it, was always likely. The ANC top-six leadership is split once again between its two factions because that was the only way a deeply divided organisation whose election processes are so contested that members can only settle them in court could have elected new leaders. This is partly so because, as ANC documents tell us, its elections are so open to manipulation that winners are rarely immune from challenges by losers. But it is also so because the ANC is divided. To see how divided, we need only look at the presidential election, which was not the result of a deal. Neither side could agree to let the other’s candidate become president and neither was open to a compromise candidate. So they probably agreed to allow the ...

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