As the former head of the then exiled ANC’s intelligence wing, Jacob Zuma perfected the intricate art of neutralising opponents. He took those tactics to government, using them to fend off accusations of corruption, state capture and the Nkandla scandal after he took power in 2009.  

His methodology is simple: sideline dissenting voices by, among others, axing ministers from his executive team and promoting little-known officials, such as Des van Rooyen, to powerful positions in law enforcement, cabinet and the judiciary, where they can fly his flag.    

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