Immediately the denials began, the usual template for when things are true and can’t be rebutted - you call it a smear campaign and if you’re South African, racist.
The problem, though, is that the revelation followed Maimane fudging the issue of his luxury Cape Town residence; first claiming he owned it and then when that was proved to be a lie, claiming he paid rent, but without disclosing how much.
A lot has been said about Cyril Ramaphosa receiving campaign money from the discredited second-tier state capturers Bosasa. At the time there was the usual “whataboutism” that bedevils our politics. But the campaign to get to the bottom of the donations - even though the sizes were tiny in comparison to other allegations of financial impropriety by the Watsons - eventually did pick up traction.
What was remarkable then and is even starker now is the alacrity with which Ramaphosa responded, getting to the nub of the matter and trying to get in front of it. The commentariat moaned at the time, wrung their hands, frothed at the mouth and rent their hair, but in fairness his response has almost become the gold standard through the alchemy of our times.