Violence In South Africa:
Riots and looting in South Africa have left more than 70 people dead, hurt thousands of businesses and damaged major infrastructure.
- It is the worst civil unrest since the end of white minority rule in 1994.
Reason for Recent Violence:
- Protests began over calls for release of former president Jacob Zuma, who served the country from 2009-18 and is facing corruption charges.
- Former Cabinet ministers, high-ranking government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises have implicated Jacob Zuma in corruption.
- Many feel that his successor as president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has failed to provide decisive leadership – either to calm anger over Zuma’s imprisonment or to reassure South Africans that they will be safe.
- While the violence may have been spurred on by the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma, it’s being fanned by underlying problems in the country amid a raging pandemic and failing economy.
- In 2020, the country had witnessed its sharpest decline in annual Gross Domestic Product since 1946.
- Unemployment stood at a record high of 32.6% in the first three months of 2021.
- The government has condemned the violence and has stated that there is no justification for the violence. A lot of criminals or opportunistic individuals are trying to enrich themselves during this period.
- It has deployed its army to support the South African police, however, the rioting and looting haven’t stopped.