William Shoki

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The Story of South Africa No Longer Makes Sense

The ceremony went virtually unnoticed. On an overcast April day in South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a lackluster speech commemorating the end of white-minority rule in South Africa. When Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first Black president, the skies were sunny with hope. Thirty years later, Mr. Ramaphosa’s enervated display against a gloomy backdrop was symbolic of decline. The African National Congress, Mr. Ramaphosa’s party, has been politically dominant since the country’s first democratic vote in 1994. In the general elections on Wednesday, it may lose its parliamentary majority for the first time.

This is uncharted territory.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man fired a handgun in the air in the Vosloorus township of South Africa to disperse suspected looters on July 14. The events of the past weeks demonstrated a bleak truth about the country. Credit Guillem Sartorio/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the past few weeks, South Africa was gripped by the biggest explosion of unrest in decades. Shopping malls and warehouses were looted, supply trucks attacked and businesses destroyed. At least 337 people died.

Initially, as families loaded up consumer goods they would otherwise be unable to afford, the tumult seemed like an organic expression of popular discontent. After all, with unemployment over 30 percent, hunger widespread and inequality spiraling, there’s ample cause for anger. But far from a spontaneous social revolt, the rioting seems in fact to have been politically orchestrated.

After Jacob Zuma, the country’s former president, was arrested on July 7 — to serve a 15-month sentence for contempt of court — his supporters and allies vowed to make the country ungovernable.…  Seguir leyendo »