As Cyril Ramaphosa watched Sunday’s rally at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium disintegrate, and found himself being wrestled towards safety by his bodyguards like a designer suitcase being dragged down a flight of stairs behind a very grumpy porter, he would have tried to comfort himself with the fact that the same indignity befell Nelson Mandela 27 years ago.

On that occasion — a May Day rally in 1995 — things got so hairy that Mandela had to be bundled into an armoured car...

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