When Tony Trahar, the last of the Oppenheimer generation of Anglo American gentlemen, highlighted "political risk" as one to watch when investors considered the South African story in the early years of this century, it was just another stab at what is the long-held view that emerging-market countries are naturally disposed to uncertainty in their body politic. And in the years that followed — with the ANC's deterioration as evidenced by the Zondo commission among others — his words have proved prescient. As a young black man believing in this country's future I was affronted by Trahar's words perhaps as much as former president Thabo Mbeki. But the results have shown that political risk and corruption were deserved monikers for our story, along with other emerging-market nations such as Brazil. But it's now a symptom that's no longer just an EM curse. It has spread across all geographies: there's nothing in European or US politics that speaks of certainty and clean governance. Whil...

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