Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist

Last weekend it looked like the beginnings of a coup against President Cyril Ramaphosa. Now all is suddenly quiet. An eerie calm hangs over the battlefield as the smoke drifts away. It is too early, though, to get out of your trench and crawl to the wounded.

One wretched chap is writhing in agony through the haze, exposed to the elements. It looks like sub-lieutenant Paul Mashatile, the ANC treasurer. It’s hell to listen to, but too dangerous to try to save him...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now