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After 27 years in power the ANC still has an ambiguous and immature relationship with the responsibility to govern. On the one hand it loves to exercise absolute power, the enforcement of the state of disaster being the most extreme example. On the other, it shrinks away from implementing the rule of law and stands back from its responsibilities to watch, as if an interested spectator like the rest of us.

While it does seem now that the legal uncertainty about former president Jacob Zuma’s status has been cleared up, and that the police will arrest Zuma on Wednesday failing an unlikely court intervention, damage has been done. For democracy to thrive all institutions need to play their part, and in what is hoped will be the final act of the Zuma tragedy, two so far have failed us completely: the police and the ANC itself...

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