It might be tempting to mock Enoch Godongwana’s belated admission that the ANC’s maladministration under Jacob Zuma’s leadership was largely to blame for the country’s economic woes. After all, Godongwana is the head of economic transformation for the same ANC that kept Zuma in power, and blocked attempts by the opposition to force him out. The various motions of no confidence had no way of passing without the support of ANC MPs. And they never came to the party. This meant that despite growing evidence that state capture was not a figment of journalists’ imaginations, and that attempts to take over and undermine the national treasury were afoot, Zuma survived three such motions in parliament — all the while cheered on by ANC backbenchers. He might have lost the last one. By then Cyril Ramaphosa had taken over as ANC president. It was clear, this time even to Zuma, that the game was up. He resigned before the vote could take place.

The country had to bide its time and wait for...

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