An emotional Cyril Ramaphosa after being announced as the new ANC president. Picture: MASI LOSI
An emotional Cyril Ramaphosa after being announced as the new ANC president. Picture: MASI LOSI

The win by Cyril Ramaphosa is a pyrrhic one, because the ANC is a house of cards and is going to be sabotaged by losing half of its members — poor losers, notwithstanding the grandstanding show of "unity".

Had Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won, the demise of the ANC would have been a far quicker process because the Ramaphosa wing would have left the party, probably before the 2019 election.

Ramaphosa is left with the unenviable task of presiding over two rotten entities: the ANC and the government. And he thought he was winning something! The first real matter at hand is the national government he will inherit. It is a lovely old mansion, but it is only a veneer as the termites have eaten everything. Without immediate remedial action, it will fall down on all of us.

So Ramaphosa has a few choices: he "redeploys" President Jacob Zuma so he can start his own show until the 2019 election. By doing this he will demonstrate what he is capable of achieving as president, if elected.

Otherwise, he will continue to live in the shadow of Zuma, who has single-handedly destroyed the government and many of its vital institutions and will no doubt continue to do so. If Ramaphosa moves to prosecute Zuma and his cronies, it would be a boost to his chances of winning an election in 2019.

Ramaphosa could also continue to sit idly, as he has done over the years. He would then have to prepare himself to watch a coalition-run SA — which might be a breath of fresh air that might just bring the country back from the brink.

Peter Baker
Johannesburg

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