President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fumbling response to the Bosasa donation scandal has harmed his reputation. Yes indeedy, that R500,000 has really tarnished the aura of the human ball-gag who stood smiling and nodding while his party facilitated the theft of hundreds of billions of rands. I know. We’re not supposed to mention Ramaphosa’s impotence — or negligence — regarding state capture. Not anymore. Not when the villains are being fired or damned by commissions. Because if you’re not a villain, you must be a hero. If you’re not bad, you must be good, right? Yes, we do love our binary hyperboles. We’re the best country in the world! We’re the worst! Mandela was the messiah! Mandela was a sell-out! Property rights are inviolable! The state must own all land! I don’t know why we are so easily seduced by these extremes but it certainly keeps politicians in clover. Julius Malema, for example, has mastered the art of hedging his political currency and benefiting from being regarded as both ...

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