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When the erstwhile chief minister of the Venda homeland, Patrick Mphephu, accepted "independence" from the oppressive oligarchy in Pretoria, he was asked why. Irked by the journalist’s question, Mphephu retorted: "Transkei did it. Bophuthatswana did it. So why can’t we did it?" He was referring to Kaiser Matanzima and Lucas Mangope who had declared their barren enclaves independent republics. He would have been a fool not to "did it". The issue here is not grammar but principle. If others do it, why shouldn’t I? I remembered this story in the run-up to the election. It is not an urban legend; it was reported by newspapers at the time, colourful quote and all.When Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced that his African Content Movement would contest the elections, he cited Mzwanele Manyi of the African Transformation Movement and Andile Mngxitama of Black First Land First as people who had inspired him. These three — just like Matanzima, Mangope and Mphephu before them — were merely stooges doi...

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