Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
20 March 2013

I obviously don’t know whether in fact there is a plan to slap Ramaphosa aside, say after he has helped the ANC to victory in 2014. However, I would be entirely unsurprised; just as I would be unsurprised if we are witnessing such a “slapping aside” of Zwelinzima Vavi. What do Zuma, Zuma and Sisulu have in common that they don’t share with Vavi and Ramaphosa? The first three were immersed in the exile and prison culture of the ANC, of the bitter war of survival, where myriad decisions were made in the deepest secrecy and then defended with one’s life and sometimes with the lives of others. These were decisions of war councils and political military committees and often dealt in life and death, and routinely involved breaking many laws that had nothing do with Apartheid and political repression. When you have stood together in such an enterprise and never baulked and you’ve kept the faith – you might be trusted with the undoubtedly distasteful task of keeping ex-president Jacob Zuma safe from prosecution – “For the Movement comrade, for our country”. – Nic Borain

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