A decade of President Jacob Zuma’s leadership has brought the ANC to the point of no return: it is finished, and a better version can emerge only if it loses the 2019 election. The ANC has undergone many transformations during its history, but few periods have seen changes as radical since Jacob Zuma became ANC president in December 2007. The only comparable period, in disruption, but not in content, was the Mandela-Sisulu revolution in the mid-1940s. A decade is a long time, even for a body 105 years old — enough time to inflict permanent changes in its composition, nature, structure and function. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been one of many ANC leaders calling for an end to factionalism, for unity and for renewal, but these amount to appeals that have no force or effect — the butt of jokes made by corrupt, cynical elements in the party. Ramaphosa does not belong to the dominant faction in the ANC. The national executive committee (NEC) elected in Polokwane in December 200...

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