It is ironic that former president Jacob Zuma is chastising his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, for referring to his near two terms in office as “nine lost years”. It was the Zuma camp which drew Ramaphosa back into the political fold in 2012 as his deputy to shore up what was already emerging as a tainted and scandal-ridden administration. In a Twitter post seeking to highlight the achievements of his presidency, Zuma took aim at Ramaphosa, saying there was “no such thing as nine wasted years behind us”.

“I never once blamed any predecessor or pointed to any perceived failing of any predecessor when I came to the leadership. I focused on what we would do and achieve in the ANC, and we focused on achieving those things. There is no such thing as nine wasted years behind us,” he wrote. To take on his then deputy Kgalema Motlanthe, who was challenging him for the presidency of the ANC, Zuma effectively used Ramaphosa to shore up his own slate at the ANC’s Mangaung elective conferenc...

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