Palesa Morudu Rosenberg

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Looters outside a shopping center alongside a burning barricade in Durban, South Africa on July 12. (Andre Swart/AP)

South Africa is a tinderbox marked by extreme inequality. And last week, the country’s ruling party lit the match.

Anarchic scenes of violence and large-scale looting engulfed the populous provinces of Gauteng, the mining and financial heartland, and KwaZulu-Natal along the east coast. Nine days of mayhem left at least 200 people dead, 40,000 businesses affected, 100 shopping complexes looted, 1,400 ATMs and about 300 banks and post offices vandalized. In KwaZulu-Natal, an estimated 150,000 jobs are at risk with a $1.3 billion impact on the province’s economy.

All this was started at the behest of organized groups, some reportedly with links to the country’s spy agencies, who targeted economic infrastructure, with a well-organized social media campaign.…  Seguir leyendo »