At last! The ANC has admitted, a tad obliquely, that after the improvements to society of the first 12-odd years of democracy, the country has slid backwards. The improvement away from poverty has stalled and gone backwards, because the ANC cannot govern the country.

This is implicit in the explanation international relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor gave to diplomats to explain the xenophobic violence. According to news reports she said, among other explanations, “that the legacy of apartheid, which caused economic inequalities in the country, was to blame for locals losing their cool with their African brothers and sisters in a scramble for crumbs”.

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