Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

13 August 2014

South Africa: When Survival and Accountability Collide - Ramaphosa and Jordan's Moments of Reckoning

analysis

Just days after a national newspaper exposed his academic qualifications as a lie, Pallo Jordan apologised to the ANC and to South Africa, and stepped down from his public positions. This week, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa finally appeared before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry to explain his role in events preceding the massacre of 34 mineworkers two years ago, an appearance during which 'sorry' seemed to be the hardest word for him. He still remains the most likely candidate to be the next President of South Africa. Jordan, on the other hand, is headed into the political wilderness. What does this mean for the ANC and for South Africa?

Pallo Jordan was never destined for high office. He is too temperamental, too forthright, too much of a rebel to ever aspire to lead his organisation, the ANC, or the country. He cannot fire up a rally with slogans, sing or gyrate on stage with scantily clad maidens. He would not be able to rustle up a faction behind him to fly his flag in the ANC. He is the consummate intellectual, contrarian, a bit eccentric - not the kind of character the ANC looks for when choosing...

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