Former president Thabo Mbeki’s grand cameo on behalf of the party that dumped him in 2007 suggests a late wake-up call in the ANC’s attempt to hold on to, or win back, black middle-class voters.

These voters are at great danger, we are told by some, of succumbing to the tasty policy charms of one of the many ANC splinter franchises (mild, spicy or flaming hot). They include the EFF, MK Party, UDM, COPE and the Patriotic Alliance, all offering a familiar policy menu from which to savour one’s disaffection with an ANC that has changed as much as the country it inherited with such fanfare in 1994...

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