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It takes a genuinely special sort of theatrical awfulness to top Jacob Zuma’s latest assault on our intelligence and morale, as he simultaneously plays the feudal overlord and the harmless moron by calling on his vassals to seize back control of the ANC even as he asks someone to explain “what went wrong” in last week’s election.

Certainly, there are some strong contenders. Reading the news on Monday required some unusually aggressive mental splitting, as Temba Bavuma’s excellent leadership shared space with the news that Athol Williams, a whistle-blower at the Zondo commission, has fled the country in fear of his life...

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