The political figure Cyril Ramaphosa most wants to emulate, he has said on several occasions, is Nelson Mandela. He aspires to govern by consensus, he says, not by diktat, and when it came to coaxing agreement from unlikely people, Mandela was the true master.

Inviting a comparison between his own leadership and Mandela’s is a dangerous business for Ramaphosa. Mandela was in so many ways starkly different to him, and the juxtaposition reveals Ramaphosa’s limitations.

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