Now that the ANC has elected a president who is neither beholden to nor trapped in a project of state capture, the clowns at the head of Eskom have lost their major enabler: the political protection offered by President Jacob Zuma through public enterprises minister Lynne Brown. If Ramaphosa and his team have any hope of leading the ANC in government after the general election in 2019, they need to assert their authority now and cut off the cancerous tumour of corruption in the country. As Niccolò Machiavelli put it in The Prince: "The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him." Zuma, Brown, finance minister Malusi Gigaba, David Mahlobo at energy, and social development minister Bathabile Dlamini are among the people who should never have been allowed near any position of responsibility. Ramaphosa and his team must reduce cabinet to only 20 ministers and their deputies. But the starting point in their clean-up should be Eskom, th...

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