There is one key area in which Zuma has made no attempt at reconciliation whatsoever: criminal justice and security. The ministers of justice, defence, intelligence (now called "state security" in a throwback to both apartheid and the ANC's old Stalinist past), police and communications are all die-hard Zuma loyalists. Whatever their line functions, they will also play the role they have played so ably to date: keeping Zuma out of court - and making sure the state serves Zuma as it once did Mbeki.

Mark Gevisser

What in Mandela was seen as an almost saintly ability to conciliate could, in a lesser man, be read as weak-kneed populism.

Mark Gevisser

Even if Zuma was to develop the authoritarian impulses of a Mugabe, he would be checked - not least by his own party, which set a continental precedent by ousting Thabo Mbeki in 2007, after it felt he had outstayed his welcome by seeking a third term as party president. The ANC appears to have set itself against that deathtrap of African democracy: the ruler for life.

Mark Gevisser