In an eerie reprise of former president Jacob Zuma’s "night stalker" communication strategy, President Cyril Ramaphosa waited until all the little ones were in bed on Tuesday night before issuing a recorded statement on the ANC’s approach to amending the Constitution to enable land to be appropriated without compensation.The statement, coming as it did hours after it was announced that SA’s unemployment rate rose to a frightening 27.2%, appeared to be yet another populist feint aimed at keeping a growing cohort of economically marginalised voters onside.Why else make the announcement while an ANC-initiated parliamentary process — replete with nationwide hearings — is already under way? Why not wait for it to reach its conclusion?The economic cost of Ramaphosa’s surprising declaration was apparent by morning. The rand, which had been on course to achieve its best level since mid-June before the announcement — around R13.10 — had retreated steeply by mid-morning to R13.28.What remains...

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