It's difficult to imagine how Cyril Ramaphosa will begin to tackle the enormous problems facing this country given the many hoops he has to jump through before making even minor decisions.

The ANC always comes to power dragging a caravan brimming with conceited comrades and their friends demanding to be consulted on every policy matter — the self-appointed guardians of the ideological realm. Sometimes it seems as though Ramaphosa, or anybody in his position, is not allowed to scratch his back without consulting a messenger at Cosatu House. There are too many cooks roiling this broth.

The ANC has dug us into a deep hole from which it now promises to rescue us. But while some, led by Ramaphosa, are clumsily trying to drag the country out of the ditch, others — led by Ace Magashule — are still furiously digging. The outcome is a standstill, paralysis. But that’s only half the story.

There was a time when even sensible types thought the tripartite alliance provided necessary stability, especially immediately after the transition from apartheid. It was prudent, I suppose, to have everybody inside the tent pissing out, to quote Lyndon Johnson...

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