Last Friday, a day after another presidential address on the coronavirus pandemic, someone took to social media and posted this message: “Grootman is addressing us about the corruption and misuse of the relief fund as if we are the ones stealing money ... Hauwa Grootman call a staff meeting tomorrow.”

The message was in reaction to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to close public schools for a month, a clear concession to pressure from teacher trade unions that are aligned to the governing party. The president also announced the formation of a multidisciplinary anti-corruption task force to clamp down on corruption around the government’s multibillion-rand socioeconomic relief package...

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