It wasn’t Jacob Zuma, it was the ANC. It wasn’t state capture, it was democratic centralism. There. A senior leader of the governing party has finally admitted what has never been explicitly stated since eye-popping testimony before the commission of inquiry into state capture began.

Deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte this week blotted out the narrative that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been painstakingly attempting to construct: that the ANC was under the control and influence of a rent-seeking faction bent on looting the state during the Zuma years and that it was trying to return to its more noble roots.

Duarte wrote a missive for the Daily Maverick, saying the ANC’s "democratic centralism is now the subject of a commission led by a judge who … practises his craft based on the narrow parameters of existing laws".

The subtext of her piece was that it was not Zuma but the ANC that sold out state-owned agencies, allowed an unelected family to appoint ministers, looted state coffers, and took control of SA’s intelligence agencies and used them to turn the state into a piggy bank and private army for Zuma.

She mused about what Nelson Mandela or Albertina Sisulu would have done in the face of such testimony. Our guess: they must be turning in their graves.

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