According to a common narrative, the ANC was once an outstanding organisation run by outstanding people. Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo: these were the leaders of a golden generation. Then Jacob Zuma took over the ANC and turned it almost overnight into a cesspit of corruption. The story is one is of a rapid decline from greatness to venality. 

There is something to this nostalgic story, certainly. Mandela, Sisulu, Tambo: they were without doubt extraordinary political figures the likes of which are rare now. But the tale of decline from greatness is vastly overplayed. ..

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