SA is a land of Orwellian opposites. Progression and regression, for example, seem to occupy the same space. "We have a good story to tell," says the ANC. Increasingly, however, every sentence of that story elicits some comparable failure in the public mind. At the same time, in political environments where the demands of a modern constitutional democracy meet the impulses of a pre-democratic revolutionary ethos, paradox thrives. Kings and presidents share power. Rural and urban values clash. God’s will and free choice compete for electoral favour. SA is a contradiction, wrapped in an absurdity, inside denial. And this plays out in a thousand different ways. It is a wonderland. At the apex of this grand inconsistency sits Jacob Zuma, a man always with a foot in each of these two different worlds.Zuma’s personality plays into this paradox. He presents himself as humble, a man of the people, without a formal education, serving only at the party’s behest. "Believe in two things," he on...

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