Video: Riots in South Africa: Causes, Interests and Consequences


09-08-21 12:22:00,

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In July 2021, South Africa was swept by the largest wave of violence seen since the fall of apartheid in 1994. The protests that began on July 8 have quickly turned into pogroms that involved thousands of people.

The nominal cause for the outbreak of riots was the arrest of a former President of South Africa Jacob Zuma on charges of corruption. Mr. Zuma’s controversial activities have long raised questions.

After the fall of apartheid he acquired senior positions under Mandela’s administration. In that period, he was involved in an international scandal on a suspicious arms deal when Pretoria reportedly purchased warships and aircraft from European suppliers at exorbitant prices.

Despite all allegations, he became president in 2009, replacing the notorious Thabo Mbeki. New “Charming” president was handing over big chunks of the country’s economy to his Indian friends, the Gupta brothers, who were ‘at the heart of a long-running process of corruption in South Africa,’ according to the British Foreign Office.

First, Zuma was accused of corruption back in 2009. Then the case was postponed after he entered presidential office, but the disputes did not stop. In 2018, he had to resign, and legal procedures were resumed, new corruption charges were brought. The trial lasted for 3 years, until the summer of 2021, when Zuma defiantly refused to testify in the case of “seizure of power” and corruption. On June 29, he was found guilty of contempt of court, sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to surrender to the authorities before midnight on July 7, which he did at the very last moment. That same night, his supporters organized rallies, proclaiming Zuma a “prisoner of conscience”. A political crisis broke out.

The events came thick and fast amid a lasting economic crisis in the country. According to various estimates, the last years of Jacob Zuma’s presidency were marked with sharp drops in the economy. Ineffective administrative measures, populism and ineffectiveness of the health care system during the coronavirus pademic have dramatically aggravated the situation in the country.

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