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The arrest of Jacob Zuma, former president of the republic and the governing party, was always going to be accompanied by controversy, drama, chaos and mayhem. However, what has been surprising is how ill-prepared the ANC and the government were for the weekend’s flagrant flouting of the law and sabre rattling in KwaZulu-Natal.

To be clear, Zuma’s central grievances are an issue for the courts. The mayhem, firing of guns in public and breaking of other laws are matters of political leadership and governance. The ANC and the government have both been found wanting in that regard...

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