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Malusi Gigaba should have resigned from the cabinet and parliament when the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the high court ruling that he had lied under oath. The self-righteousness of Gigaba, the ANC and its chief whip is hard to stomach, as his resignation had nothing to do with the “interests of the country and the movement” or “relieving pressure on the president”, but rather his desire to escape further humiliation. By resigning, Gigaba averted being sacked by President Cyril Ramaphosa and an embarrassing interrogation by parliament’s ethics committee. Both of these would have thwarted his apparent presidential ambitions. The Gigaba fiasco is emblematic of a deeper malaise. Personality cults and personal ambition have triumphed as the dominant political force in a country mired in tragic socioeconomic and governance challenges. This can clearly be seen in the fightback by the faction aligned to former president Jacob Zuma and his allies. They — more than any other faction in the...

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