President Cyril Ramaphosa sometimes reminds me of my dad. We lived in what was then Umtata, in the days when salesmen came to your door with the Encyclopedia Britannica, a newfangled vacuum cleaner or shares in a Free State gold prospect.

When they knocked my dad always opened the gate. He loved to chat and would closely question visitors about their lives. Their reward was almost always a sale. My mother would despair. “Harold,” she would say as he came back inside the house, “you’re a bloody fool.”..

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