If you’re a calm constitutionalist, the election result was a consolidation of the moderate middle that comprises 77% of SA’s voters. If you’re anxious or angry, May 8 was an endorsement of ethnic nationalists and their various blood feuds and soil fetishes. And if you’re like me, you’re probably not sure quite what to feel. This sense of dangling is inevitable given the confusing psychology of this moment. Having just voted in a free and fair election in which 48 parties were represented, and having sent 14 of those parties to parliament, we have now banged up against the reality that our future is in the well-greased palms of perhaps half a dozen hands. All the hundreds of thousands of words written and spoken about Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema have been blown away like dandelion seeds, and replaced by just four: will Cyril Ramaphosa govern? It is a very disorienting feeling, this; to spend weeks marinating in democratic processes and then, suddenly, to find oneself praying, e...

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