The ANC’s relationship with death has always been schizophrenic. There is the grand national pageantry, when party icons and heroes die. And then there is the public, large swathes of which die in record numbers, in a wide range of brutal ways. These, however, live on as statistics, private and hidden away, if they are commemorated at all.

The ANC has been the proximate cause of so much death. Problems such as corruption and financial maladministration are regularly quantified. But not death itself, at least not in any grand sense, and certainly not when it comes to the ANC’s political culpability. Rarely, if ever, is a direct link made between the various ANC administrations and people who die as a consequence of those governments. There are some astounding sums to be done on this front, but where to begin?..

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