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Even the fiercest supporters of the man they refer to as “the Buffalo” are talking about leadership succession. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s silence on the Phala Phala farm debacle has his supporters confused and casting about for an alternative, should he find himself entangled in trouble serious enough to necessitate his departure.

Phone calls are being made. Overtures to potential contenders are being made. Discreet meetings are being held. In the absence of a clearing of the air from Ramaphosa, plans are being made behind his back to find a new, anti-Zuma candidate to stand for the ANC presidency at the party’s elective conference in December...

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