Natasha Marrian Financial Mail deputy editor & columnist

Officially, the ANC has banned campaigning for its presidency. Unofficially, the skirmishes behind the scenes are already brutal, with Cyril Ramaphosa squaring off against President Jacob Zuma’s former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Ramaphosa may look like a long shot right now, but this is more than a fight for the top position: it’s a proxy battle for the heart of an organisation that has been corrupted. Succession battles have been won and lost in the ANC for more than a century. Today, leadership positions in the organisation are no longer about risking life and limb to serve the people but, rather, about access to the state for personal gain by politicians with dangerously powerful ambitions. It has become, in Frantz Fanon’s description of Africa’s post-liberation elite, "an acquisitive, voracious and petty caste, dominated by a small-time racketeer mentality". This is why the game has become so dirty and the rules so skewed.In December, the ANC will elect its 13th president, in...

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