SA’s government of national unity, a rancorous marriage between ideological enemies presiding over a country with a murder rate almost twice the current rate, took 742 days to produce and generally agree on the first iteration of our constitution.

SA’s fifth democratic president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has taken 638 days to produce a rough consensus that, given the right conditions, few of which exist right now, and a different team of colleagues, which he can’t or won’t assemble, he might be ready, in principle, to lead this country in a direction that, at least in theory, might be a good one, unless the trade unions say no, in which case forget I mentioned it.

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