The ANC is almost certain to lose Gauteng by a large margin in next year’s national and provincial elections. It may be ousted in KwaZulu-Natal. It faces annihilation in the Western Cape. It will likely fall below 50% of votes cast in the national polls. So, what happens to the man or woman who leads the party to such a defeat?

In many countries such a leader would call a council of the party’s top leaders, indicate his failure, hand his resignation letter to the speaker of parliament, give a speech to the chamber and vacate the office while the party installs a fresh new face to renew and rejuvenate itself...

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