Who has interpreted political events in SA more intelligently of late: the commentariat, whose vocation is to understand politics, or ordinary people in the street? If the question seems a provocation, it certainly is. For some of the commentariat’s analysis of the revelations around the funding of Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign has been worse than dire. It has been so incompetent and naive as to constitute a dereliction of professional duty.

From a prominent Sunday Times columnist to a slew of television commentators, a shibboleth has emerged: what the funding of Ramaphosa’s campaign shows, it is said, is that dividing politicians into good and bad is useless because they are all corrupt. The Guptas may have bought Jacob Zuma, but those who funded Ramaphosa’s campaign have bought Ramaphosa. All politicians are for sale and that’s all there is to be said.

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