You only call the fire brigade when the house is on fire." If Angola's interaction with the IMF has shown us anything, it is that a government with something to hide would rather wait for the house to catch fire than risk a splinter by clearing the tinder-dry brush around it. This week the IMF confirmed that Angola had approached it for financial support due to a liquidity crunch caused by lower oil prices and weaker-than-expected growth. An IMF bailout to a poorly governed but resource-rich developing country is hardly remarkable, but for South Africans it merits a second look. When President João Lourenço came to power in 2017 there was hope he would rebuild the economy and root out the endemic corruption of the 38-year reign of José Eduardo dos Santos. Though Lourenço was also a member of Dos Santos's MPLA, he was seen as someone who could stand up to the Dos Santos family and remove the systems of patronage that had robbed the nation of so much wealth. Along with tackling corrup...

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