Tony Leon Columnist

In 1967, US author Allen Drury wrote a book on apartheid South Africa entitled A Very Strange Society. Fifty years later, and two-plus decades into our post-apartheid story, we have added several new chapters to our national tragedy, though that title remains very contemporary. The strangest part started just shy of 10 years ago: at the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference, Jacob Zuma was elected precisely - maybe only - because he was not Thabo Mbeki. Then, last Friday, Mbeki was lionised and cheered delivering the Oliver Tambo centenary lecture. Mainly because he was not Jacob Zuma.One might conclude that the breathtaking and brazen manner in which Zuma has placed an essentially criminal enterprise at the heart of government happened precisely because 10 years ago the ANC in its collective wisdom chose to elect as its president someone who was morally hobbled, ethically compromised and facing hundreds of serious criminal charges. Certainly that is what the circle around Mbeki thought in ...

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