What’s the chance a deal will be struck before the ANC delegates go to the polls on Sunday? That is the question of the week, the answer to which will have a bearing on all of our political futures. Over the next five days we can expect frenetic political activity among the various power brokers in the ANC as each tries to line up a deal that will work both in their own interest and, significantly enough, in the interests of others, to build an alliance. While there are two main factions, the interests within those factions compete, and at times can be in opposition to one another.

This is because the key power brokers are not Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma themselves. They include provincial leaders, opposing provincial factions, key figures in the party’s three leagues and to a lesser extent nowadays, the key figures in Cosatu and the South African Communist Party. There are also the key backers of each faction to consider: for instance, Ramaphosa cannot easily d...

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