The "new normal" has arrived, with its fair share of fanfare, secrecy and speculation in tow. The postponement of the state of the nation address and a scheduled ANC national executive committee meeting due to "constructive" engagements between Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma attest to it. In this milieu, sensation and fake news trump fact, and transparency is overtaken by backroom dealing and negotiation. Just like Emmerson Mnangagwa and his generals in 2017, Ramaphosa and his "Nasrec train" of officials are charged with the exit negotiations of a leader who has overstayed his welcome. A leader who has lost the political "cover" often afforded to leaders of African liberation movements. With the attempt not to "embarrass" the leader, the expectant mood in the media fraternity received a sobering reminder; the ANC works on its own clock. Ramaphosa knows that hasty actions may alienate key segments of the base he needs to consolidate.The report-back by Ramaphosa on his engagements wit...

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