SA citizens who are feeling sorry for their allegedly besieged president should cheer up. Cyril Ramaphosa’s situation is not as perilous as some observers have claimed. It is difficult to see how former president Jacob Zuma’s cronies can launch a “fightback”. The ANC likes to imagine it has the power to “recall” a state president. But this alleged power is not found in the movement’s constitution. To be effective, a recall has to be backed by a credible threat to whip ANC MPs to vote against their own president in a no-confidence vote. Even if a scandal erupted, Ramaphosa would first have to be kicked out of the ANC presidency, and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The next elective conference is in 2022, when Zuma and his cronies will be long gone. Today’s likely suspects — Zweli Mkhize, Paul Mashatile, and David Mabuza — each suffer from fatal limitations. Health issues aside, we will almost certainly not see a new ANC president until 2027. There are various reasons the thr...

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