Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist


There's a healthy discussion going on. It allows for insults and point-scoring. Good. It's about whether people such as me delude ourselves by writing in support of President Cyril Ramaphosa as he cleans up the ANC, or parts of it, and the state, or parts of it.

Last week, a pipsqueak in the DA, Jacques Maree, tweeted this: “Columnists like Max du Preez & Peter Bruce, both of whom were dropped in a vat of Ramaphoza [sic] Kool-Aid at some point, have plenty to answer for. There's only one ANC and Cyril is that ANC. The notion that SA must give him a bigger mandate is as daft as claiming he's not a populist.”

I don't know Maree. I blocked him ages ago on Twitter. But other people in and around the DA are suddenly making the same sort of noises.

Gareth van Onselen, a huge and deliciously aggressive intellect, has also recently tweeted on the subject: “It was the ANC of Cyril Ramaphosa that voted for an EFF motion to change the constitution, to allow for expropriation without compensation. Not Mandela, Mbeki or even that populist lunatic Zuma could achieve that. Well done Ramaphosa! The ANC's greatest radical socialist.” And then this, about a column Du Preez wrote last week: “This is what happens when your entire world view has been captured by the ANC. You lose not only the imagination to think otherwise but the bravery or conviction to advocate anything different. This column is, in its entirety, a white flag. It's just sad.” And then party leader Mmusi Maimane waded in, naming myself and Du Preez and adding Carol Paton. “I want to interrogate this theory,” he writes of the view that giving Ramaphosa a big mandate in the next election will strengthen him to the general benefit of the country. “Unless it is thoroughly debu...

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