Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist


Ramaphosa was absolutely right to place the health department of North West under central government administration on Thursday and supplant the North West provincial treasury's oversight of it and its procurement. It means, for a start, that the Zuma-Gupta acolyte who runs the province as its premier, Supra Mahumapelo, won't be dishing out juicy hospital contracts in the Platinum Belt anytime soon. If ever again. When a similar fate befell Cassel Mathale, premier of Limpopo, in 2011, it was the end of him.

A ring of due process is now slowly closing around Mahumapelo. It cannot be stopped. He has given away money that might have helped the poor to Jacob Zuma. It is theft, the opposite of what he is supposed to do. He cannot be trusted with public funds. Deliciously, a state investigation of what has gone wrong in North West will be led by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Her reputation is, thankfully, finally on the line.

Leadership and courage are the only way President Cyril Ramaphosa gets out from under the pressure of his opponents inside the ANC in North West, KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere. He has to put his head down and do the right thing. People are not stupid. They know a thief when they see one. We all know the calibre of the people trying to destabilise the country in the post-Zuma era. You can easily be distracted by fashion and trends that mask essential truths. Why, for instance, are poverty and inequality almost always mentioned in the same sentence as if they were the same thing? A real leader would have sorted that out long ago. If you had the choice, now, to fix either poverty or inequality in South Africa, which would you choose? You can't do both. They have different causes and, therefore, must have different solutions.Inequality is caused by the presence of wealth. Poverty is caused by its complete absence. And you surely, surely, fix poverty first. Ramaphosa would instinctively kn...

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