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The timing could hardly be worse for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his renewal project. From Davos to Cape Town, he has talked up the theme of rebirth for the country, even urging us to see the positives in the grizzly corruption scandals that have emerged in the Zondo commission on state capture. In words that irked his predecessor so much that he felt moved to respond on Twitter (where else?), Ramaphosa has talked much of the nine “wasted years” in which rampant corruption became entrenched and key institutions such as the power utility Eskom were manipulated to serve the interests of one family. From law enforcement to tax revenue, the destruction was immense and threatening to bring down the whole economy. Perhaps reflecting the country’s need for soothing and, most importantly, hope, he has gotten away with it, though now and then there’ll be an observer pointing out the irony of the renewal being led by someone who was often sitting alongside Jacob Zuma when untold damage was ...

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