It was a devastatingly sad week for SA with the passing of Jackson Mthembu, the ANC’s warmest and most universally liked public figure. President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers many eulogies but his tribute to Mthembu came from deep within: “I have lost not just a dependable colleague and a comrade. I have lost a dear friend, and it is a loss I feel most keenly.”

Mthembu’s untimely departure underlines in Ramaphosa what is true of many leaders, but particularly of him as he sits at the apex of a fractured ANC: it is lonely at the top...

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