When President Cyril Ramaphosa first addressed the nation in March about the Covid-19 pandemic and measures the country was taking to try to curb the spread of the virus, he was applauded for showing leadership. But three months later he has squandered that goodwill, and the pandemic is showing up the president’s weak political management of his executive.

When Ramaphosa ascended to the presidency after the ANC’s 2017 Nasrec conference, it was anticipated that because of the thin margin with which he won, political management would be difficult for him due to internal party politics. But this kind of neglect cannot be excused...

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