There was a mixture of surprise, bemusement and befuddlement last week when President Cyril Ramaphosa was reported to be shocked and angry at Eskom once again plunging the country into darkness — and gloom — with a spate of electricity blackouts.

His statement was a surprise because he had, during the state of the nation address (Sona) only a few days earlier, eloquently laid out the issues confronting the parastatal and what needed to be done to save us from the total darkness around the corner. He seemed on top of his game.

But for him to suddenly come across as out of touch was a bit of a letdown. Dammit. He didn’t feel our pain, after all.

Anger is also not something that one easily associates with Ramaphosa. Something seems to have happened to him on his way to the presidency. His demeanour has changed. He smiles a lot and laughs readily, almost on cue. His supporters worry that such apparent niceness could be misunderstood or even exploited by his foes. Or is there steel behind the velvet glove? An angry Ramaphosa would be a sight to behold.

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