Deputy president Paul Mashatile’s effort to iron out the creases in his reputation is not going well. You’ll remember that Mashatile was elected ANC deputy president at the party’s conference last December and he really squeaked in, helped, according to the conventional wisdom, by a push from disgraced former health minister Zweli Mkhize.

There was also a split vote opposing him. President Cyril Ramaphosa, displaying his unusual talent for picking the wrong people, had wanted Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane on his slate as deputy, probably playing an ethnic card to the Xhosa vote. But young Ronald Lamola, who probably will be president one day, also put his hand up and could not be persuaded to put it down again...

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