The ousting of Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip is the first concrete example of the new rapprochement between the EFF and the ANC. This rapprochement was evident early in the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa, who wasted no time building bridges with the EFF, saying in March that he would "love" to have EFF leader Julius Malema back in the party because "he is still ANC down deep in his heart". But it’s almost guaranteed that the party and Ramaphosa will live to regret taking a sip from this poisoned chalice. Historically, the ANC made all kinds of short-term compromises in order to become the party in power or to retain power, and yet it is seemingly oblivious to how this plays out among the electorate. The short answer is it plays badly. The first problem is that winning power through enticing opposition party members to join the ANC or vote against their own party doesn’t actually change the electoral dynamic on the ground. Arguably, it makes it worse for the ANC. Behind-the-s...

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