Former president Kgalema Motlanthe falls back on the words of struggle poet Keorapetse Kgositsile when explaining the complexity of life in SA. “The present,” he says, quoting the anti-apartheid activist’s work, “is a dangerous place to live.”

The country “is going through a very difficult period”, says Motlanthe, who acted as SA’s third democratic president for eight high-octane months from September 2008, after Thabo Mbeki was ousted, until Jacob Zuma’s inauguration...

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