It is the root of the ANC’s malaise. It explains the rise of the Gupta family, and the ANC’s incapacity to deal with them or President Jacob Zuma, even though they know this will cost them at the polls. It is crucial to understanding the presidential race. And it tells you what kind of ANC we will likely have in the foreseeable future.
It is summed up in this quote from a person close to Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign: “Nobody donates money to the ANC for philanthropic reasons, or because they love the party or what it stands for. It is all about what you can get back if you contribute to the party or back a winning candidate. Every rand we get comes with a payback expectation,” writes Anton Harber.