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President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to deal “harshly” with those found to be involved in corruption in the distribution of food parcels meant for the poor during the ongoing lockdown. On Monday he described the hoarding and selling of food parcels by these political mercenaries as “disturbing and disgusting”. Both statements amplify just how impotent Ramaphosa is in the face of his party’s corruption, and how he cannot survive politically without allowing it to continue.

First, the chances of “harsh” treatment of politically connected individuals in this and any other corrupt activity are nearly zero. It has not happened before. Why would it happen now? Second, except for the fact that it is taking place in an extraordinarily difficult time for SA, there is nothing “disturbing” about the food parcel corruption. No-one who lives here and works in government would be disturbed by these reports because this is par for the course in government procurement...

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