Donald Trump and Mzwanele Manyi seem like uneasy bedfellows: one is a failed businessman who rose to prominence on a wave of ludicrously biased news, and the other is the president of the US. But this has got me wondering whether they might not be perfect for each other.

Manyi’s critics had been looking forward to his testimony at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture this week. The man who gave us the memorable comedy duo of The New Age and ANN7 would, they assumed, dissolve into a confused, blustering mess under cross-examination.

It didn’t happen. Instead, Manyi demonstrated the sort of composure one needs to insist, with a straight face, that ANN7 was a real news channel or that sentient humans actually read The New Age.

Indeed, Manyi even felt emboldened to demand that evidence leader Vincent Maleka be recused because of allegedly biased questioning. For an audience that has grown used to the amateurish denials and evasions of past ANC spin doctors like Mac “Taken Out Of Context” Maharaj, Manyi’s chutzpah was spellbinding. So much so, in fact, that many on Twitter were convinced that he had outwitted Maleka. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot — you can show social media a picture of a single buttock and it will believe that is has seen a supernova — but still, being admired by Twitter is worth something. (I believe it’s about 86c.) Twitter was especially impressed by the zinger he delivered on Monday, when he responded to a question about state capture with the observation that SA has always been captured. As defences go it’s right up there with pointing out that the planet is pretty much stuffed anyway so you might as well open up a factory that manufactures plastic, one-use-only harpoons for th...

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