Duarte was reportedly happy to oblige at first, but after a few minutes she made a dramatic about-turn: she would not allow Manyathela to air the recording she had just agreed to. Her reason? EWN is the sister station of 702, and “702 is owned by people who have historically hated the ANC”.

Apart from the absurdity of an interviewee refusing to comment after having commented, this raised an interesting problem. If Duarte and the ANC think that criticism is hatred, and want to ignore or silence anyone who criticises them, what’s the plan for the millions and millions of South Africans who genuinely do dislike them quite a lot? Are they just going to ignore them? And if so, how is that different from standard ANC service delivery?

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