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Thabo Mbeki in happier times.

One of the most striking characteristics of the run-up to South Africa’s elections has been the indecent rush to endorse Jacob Zuma by the country’s political class. Almost as soon as the national prosecutor announced the dropping of corruption charges against Zuma, the number of people claiming to be his friend increased dramatically. No obstacle was left to stop him becoming President, and so the mob hurried to prove they had been on his side all along.

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