It turns out that two years is a really long time in politics. Back in 2016, Jacob Zuma was president. Not a day went by without a fresh headline about the latest invention of that marvellous graft machine called state capture. Julius Malema was Zuma’s sworn enemy. When Zuma rose to speak in parliament, he was booed, heckled and cursed. White shirts moved in on red shirts, a little blood was spilled and Zuma chuckled on. It was a simpler time, when the battle lines were clearly drawn. These days, Cyril Ramaphosa is president. When he rises to speak, he flirts with Malema, asking him to return to the fold. The ANC has moved like a large political amoeba to engulf the EFF’s land policy. Back then, the EFF went into alliance with the DA to take three metros from the ANC — Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg.

This week, the ANC and EFF got together with the UDM to wrest the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality from the DA mayor, Athol Trollip (barring a court reversal) and, ev...

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