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Whether or not David Mabuza is appointed deputy president later this week, he has made the point to his own comrades in the ANC more effectively than anyone else ever could have: its attempts to promote ethical behaviour of its members are insincere and inadequate. Now, with the integrity committee unexpectedly drawn into four days of wall-to-wall emergency meetings with prospective and actual ANC public representatives, what should have been a week that began with a bang and a new cabinet moving into office is on hold while the ANC tries to fathom a way out of its internal processes. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s parade, which should have followed his inauguration, is being rained on all over. At the root of the problem is the ANC’s fundamental flaw: its reluctance to hold its leaders to account for even the most flagrant abuses. This process, which should seamlessly occur through the natural workings of the party’s disciplinary processes, is broken. Instead of fixing it, a new stru...

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