Cyril Ramaphosa's image as a reasonable statesman is a great plus on the global stage. But he does not have to rub shoulders with Jack Ma to sustain that. He has to be seen as the man in charge of Africa's most powerful economy.
Cyril Ramaphosa would have breathed a sigh of relief when the curtain was brought down on the Nasrec conference in December 2017. So uncertain was the situation that at one stage it looked like he might not deliver his closing address. A video circulated showing him persuading his faction to accept the vote that delivered an unthinkable situation - that had Ace Magashule as the party's third-in-command, against his own faction's expectations of a Senzo Mchunu victory.
In the video, Ramaphosa is heard saying the outcome gave his faction the beachhead from which, presumably, to launch a total onslaught for power at the right time. Five hot days later, everyone went back to their ordinary lives as servants of the fractured ANC, tenderpreneurs, and the like.
One of Ramaphosa's tasks as the newly minted ANC president was to defuse a standoff outside the Union Buildings. A group of men in traditional Khoi and San outfits had...