Over the next few days the resolutions of the ANC’s 55th national conference will implicitly reveal the governing party’s “theory of the state”. To understand the associated implications for governance and statecraft one must look beyond the drama, antics and pageantry.

Writing in a special conference edition of SACP journal Umsebenzi, Oupa Bodibe suggested that the postapartheid state acts in two ways that can help us better understand its character...

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