The ANC has, over the past 25 years, been very adept at dealing with contentious issues put on the table by its radical elements. Its strategy has always been to kick the issue forward to another forum, tie the malcontents in knots and let the passage of time bring moderation to the idea.

Take 2010, for example. In the run-up to the ANC’s national general council, then ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema traversed the country declaring that nationalisation of mines would be adopted as official party policy. The youth league hogged the headlines and acted tough. At the conference in Durban its members tried to pack commissions debating the issue with their own people and at one point stormed the stage while the then party policy chief, Jeff Radebe, was speaking.

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