During former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure, two broad trends defined his attitude towards the Cabinet and the executive. First, he changed them regularly: 12 different cabinets inclusive of 132 changes to the executive with the result that both had an average life span of about eight-and-a-half months. That kind of instability was replicated at director-general level (in excess of 180 different people held national director-general positions on his watch). The combination produced an environment of permanent organised chaos. Even if Zuma had had a grand plan for the country, which is appears he did not, it simply could not have been implemented, such was the state of internal executive toil. Second, through division, patronage and a brutal devotion to self-interest, populism and incompetence, Zuma slowly but systematically denuded the national ANC caucus of any talent or ability. Those who did not leave were marginalised and, during his end days, he thus oversaw a generally talentl...

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