The leopards in the cabinet haven’t changed their spots, and the public is right to be wary

10 May 2020 - 00:00

A friend likened President Cyril Ramaphosa’s explanation of his government’s U-turn on the sale of tobacco to a hostage forced at gunpoint to go on national television to plead for the acceptance of his captors’ demands. It’s probably more like a case of Stockholm syndrome: he’s a hostage who’s developed affection for his kidnappers. He turns his wrath not against them but against those who seek to rescue him.

It may seem harsh or over the top or even disrespectful to speak in such terms about the president, or to belabour what, to some, may seem like a minor point. But for a president to make an announcement on an issue of national policy, only to be countermanded by his ministers on what appear to be flimsy or spurious grounds, should be of great concern...

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