As it started winding up high-level proceedings on Thursday, the Zondo Commission was variably assisted and frustrated by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The collective Zondo mind was trying to finally and authoritatively hear what had happened and how a recurrence can be prevented.

The commission chairperson, acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and a host of evidence leaders tried to get the help of Ramaphosa, currently and presumably the most powerful person in the country. The scatterings of substance that were extracted showed a president who was arguably aloof, politically blindfolded and out of touch. There was a mere flickering of possibility that it was the sensitivity of the subject matter that was preventing more satisfactory presidential responses.

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