Magashule had been the ANC’s chairman in the Free State since 1992 and provincial premier since 2009. Part of the reason he was nominated for a national position was to free his grip on the province, which he ran like a fiefdom.

Under Magashule’s stewardship, the Free State provincial executive committee was disqualified from voting in the ANC’s 2012 and 2017 national conferences, and riven by factional battles. How anyone thought he would be the best candidate to run the ANC’s entire administration, oversee the functioning of structures across the country, mediate disputes and supervise the elections machinery, beggars belief.

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