The ANC chose the eve of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address, by far the most important event on SA’s political calendar, to announce the elevation of a slew of corrupt individuals to chair important parliamentary committees. It not only overshadowed the important occasion, but added to the miasma of despair already hanging over the country.

Once again ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has rained on Ramaphosa’s parade. And he’s got away with it each time. He’s got Ramaphosa’s measure, it seems.

He loudly instructed ANC members not to sing the praises of leaders who are still alive — a jab clearly aimed at Ramaphosa. He angrily and publicly rebuked Fikile Mbalula for asserting that the ANC would probably have failed to gain a majority in the election were it not for Ramaphosa’s popularity. He sent a parliamentary list to the Electoral Commission of SA that included individuals implicated in serious crimes. It flew in the face of all promises that, under Ramaphosa, the ANC would mount a fierce crusade against corruption. Many believe that list had been “doctored” to include Magashule’s allies. His notorious comments on the Reserve Bank, even after Ramaphosa had tried to clarify the issue, damaged the economy and the country’s reputation...

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