The fortress built around Cyril Ramaphosa in the run-up to his election as ANC president, and dramatically strengthened after he was sworn in, was impressive indeed. A grand monument to denial, it seemed for a time impenetrable. The walls, forged in hope and belief, stood twenty foot high. And, inside, Ramaphosa ruled as King over those who submitted to his worldview: that just over the next horizon, the sun would break.

But you cannot build a single fortress in a vast, warring landscape and not expect the external universe to slowly but steadily impose itself on you. Just as a bubble cannot last long in the sea, before it is popped and re-integrated into the deep blue.

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