Ramaphosa's supporters are wondering what's become of their man. They're confused and bewildered. "What's happened to Cyril?" has become the constant refrain. People who were full of hope when he took over are beginning to despair.

An impression is fast gaining ground that Ramaphosa is not only a weak leader but a coward. He buckles easily under pressure. Such chatter is gaining traction. It's too early to say that he doesn't have the stomach for the job, but his courage seems to be deserting him at crucial moments.

A more generous explanation is that he's biding his time, that he'll show his true colours after the elections. Problem is, there's no guarantee that the ANC will prevail. Everything seems to be in a state of flux. The country is angry and restless.

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