It’s odd seeing Thabo Mbeki campaign for the ANC a year after he said he wouldn’t, but I don’t think we should judge him too harshly. I mean, principles are nice to have, but to be fair they did offer him a microphone and an audience that can’t leave until the free T-shirts have been handed out, so, you know...

Besides, it will be good for him to put on pants and get out of the house. It’ll be even better for his audience over the past year, a depressed cat named Comrade Buttons who hates itself for staying on but, like almost everyone in the ANC, knows it would starve if it tried to make it in the real world and so has grudgingly allowed itself to be dragged onto Mbeki’s lap every night and subjected to the latest in an endless series of lectures about garlic and beetroot...

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