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Imagine that when former president Jacob Zuma made his political calculations ahead of his gamble to fire Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, one of the things he factored in was that it was a department that wasn't a favourite of many in his party's national executive committee.

There would be more than enough people in his executive burnt by their interaction with the Treasury, and he would be able to ride out any political storm that would follow...

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