To understand why the ANC has blithely ignored the increasingly scathing criticism of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, we need to understand history. Today, two things define much contemporary political analysis. First, it focuses on dynasties. Second, as a consequence, it devolves from the president — the defining metaphor for all power, ideology and political character — to the party, which is painted as a mere extension of the incumbent’s personality. The dynasty today is the ANC. It has controlled national power in SA for 24 years, with a hegemonic omnipotence. The closest it has come to losing a national election is the 62.15% it got in 2014. In 1994, it got 62.25%. There is talk of it dropping into the 50% bracket in 2019, but little serious talk of it losing its majority. This represents a quandary for those who would argue that, in theory, SA is a modern constitutional democracy rather than, effectively, a one-party state. Obviously, that’s a far less palatable idea for ...

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