A “defective leadership not only holds back the attainment of national objectives. It also presents a difficult conundrum for the movement, in that to rationalise its bad choices the ANC has to lower itself to embrace those defects of the leaders it has chosen as its own defects. Steadily, these defects of the individual leaders become, by default, the collective property of the organisation, its own blind spots and its subliminal attributes in the public imagination.”

These remarks, made by ANC national executive committee member Joel Netshitenzhe, have been widely shared on social media as the governing party was ousted from key councils and metros — including Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni (it has long lost Cape Town)...

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