The ANC has various intractable problems: among them, a now well-established culture of corruption, destructive policy and internal division. On each of these three fronts, the crisis appears insurmountable.

But there is a fourth apocalyptic horseman, generally given less attention: incompetence. There is an argument to be made that it is just as well set, as part of the party’s organisational culture, and the most profoundly dangerous, for it underpins the other three...

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