There is a theory in the ANC that only a complete loss of power can save it. The theory goes that once this happens, those who are in it for their stomachs will jump ship, leaving behind those who genuinely care about the organisation and the country and who will rebuild and even lead the ANC back to its position as the leader of society.

One leader even conjured up a vision of a man of the cloth as secretary-general, someone who would lend moral fibre as this miraculous, phoenix-like renewal takes shape. But history shows this theory up for the fanciful myth it is — once the ANC loses power, it battles to make a comeback...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now