Is it possible to write about anything other than the Phala Phala scandal? Particularly on pages that are meant to make sense of financial markets? I have tried, dear reader, but failed. The fact is that the past few days have been the most meaningful for SA markets in years.

Thursday was a bruising day for those invested in SA debt or equities. As rumours began circulating that the president was about to resign, there was panic. Investors came to a stark view: in the absence of Cyril Ramaphosa the steps SA has taken to repair its institutions and improve its finances suddenly become very shaky. His immediate successor would be David Mabuza, who constitutionally must step into the presidency and about whom all that is known is that he spends a lot of time in Russia (at least once courtesy of the Gupta jet) and has umpteen dark clouds hanging over him from his long spell as premier of Mpumalanga...

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