Where is Mluleki George, someone asked the other day. For those who don’t follow Eastern Cape politics much and don’t remember the crazy politics of the ANC in the late 2000s, George, together with Mbhazima Shilowa and Mosiuoa Lekota, was one of the main founders of COPE. The party, launched in December 2008, managed to rattle the Jacob Zuma-led ANC enough for it to act responsibly for a short while.

Instead of the wanton triumphalist actions it had threatened, the Zuma faction was forced to include ANC leaders it detested — Trevor Manuel and others — in the cabinet and other structures. The administration became consensual within its own divided structures. It knew that otherwise it would have no credibility internationally or at home.

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