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Back to Stalingrad: the long Cyril-Ace war has only just begun


Back to Stalingrad: the long Cyril-Ace war has only just begun

Magashule is using every tactic he learned from Jacob Zuma to win the ANC power battle, no matter how long it takes


Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule may have lost the battle with Cyril Ramaphosa over control of the party’s national executive committee and parliamentary caucus, but he appears to be digging himself in for a long war of attrition, in which trying to win the hearts of the party membership, branches and provinces appears to be a key strategy.

Magashule is likely to fight a scorched-earth Stalingrad-like way, in the same way that Jacob Zuma did when, as deputy president of both the ANC and SA, he had a grinding leadership battle with former president Thabo Mbeki. Zuma ultimately triumphed at the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference, after he had looked defeated when he was suspended as deputy president following corruption and rape allegations.

Stalingrad tactics refer to the military strategy the former Soviet Union used to defend the city of Stalingrad from German invasion in World War 2. It slowed the Nazis’ progress with diversions and scorched-earth strategies, including destroying its own institutions. No doubt Magashule has taken copious notes from Zuma’s Stalingrad political war manual...

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