SA in flames: spontaneous outbreak or insurrection?


SA in flames: spontaneous outbreak or insurrection?

Many reasons have been proffered for this week’s events. What evidence is there of organisers behind the scenes?

David Everatt

South Africans spent most of mid-July glued to news outlets, from established media to TikTok, from streaming news to old-fashioned printed words, to see just one thing: would Jacob Zuma blink? Would the country finally get some taste of revenge for the state capture (, looting, destruction of institutions and threats to the country’s democracy their former president had enabled and championed? Would the rule of law win?

Zuma blinked, with a few minutes to spare, and handed himself over to police ( An hour or so later he was booked into a rather comfy looking “state-of-the-art correctional facility” ( in Estcourt (which had taken 17 years to refurbish).

The rule of law won. The institutions that had been so assiduously hollowed out under the nine years of his presidency ( had flexed their newfound muscle. The Constitutional Court had long held firm (, the police were rather more wobbly, but despite much assegai-rattling by family members and the Jacob Zuma Foundation, into prison he went. No ANC leader expressed joy, only sorrow ( that the man had fallen so low (; for people not in such elevated positions it was a rare moment of jubilation ( in the midst of a global pandemic that has us locked down, again...

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