What’s Happening on our Streets: A talk on xenophobia, politics and corruption

On 03.08.2021 a lecture on the political unrest in South Africa took place. Beforehand, we received many interested voices from our own network. We all wanted to better understand the current situation. The lecture provided a better overview of the events and xenophobia, politics and corruption in South Africa. Many participants shared personal impressions and experiences. The lecture was organized by the SAGE Net office in Berlin.

Our guest Mthetheleli Promise Kambula led the lecture. First he presented figures and background. Afterwards, the participants discussed and exchanged ideas. We were thrilled by the great response and the pleasant exchange about Zoom! 

Many thanks to Mthetheleli and all participants!

Guest commentary

In his presentation, Mthetheleli first presented current facts and figures. He then focused on the background to the events. Above all, the influence of the Corona pandemic played a major role. He also made a reference to the 80s and compared the historical background.

Most important was the question of how the events affect people. Where do we go from here? What happens in our streets?

I am from Gauteng which is one of the 2 provinces that was badly affected by the recent developments. But my area was not affected, it was amazing to see what a community can achieve if committed towards one cause.
Phathuxolo Ndzimande
I was in Cape Town when it happened, there was no lootings in my area. I'm amazed by how people stood together afterwards and cleaned up all together. Seeing how divided SA is but then how they support each other so much impresses me every time.
Leonie Zondler

Xenophobia, Politics and Corruption in South Africa

It all started when former President Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison. The charge: corruption during his time as head of government. However, he vehemently denied this accusation. On July 9, the first pro-Zuma protests took place in KwaZuluNatal, the largest province in South Africa. The protests progressed from blocked roads to increasingly aggressive violence, including arson and looting.
looting. Soon there was also violence in Gauteng.

However, the issue has long since moved beyond the release of former President Jacob Zuma. Criminals seized the opportunity, as did people who, out of desperation, found in looting a way to put food on the table.
Zuma’s arrest is just one drop that broke the camel’s back.
overflowed. Thus, the violent events highlight the country’s social inequality. However, under no circumstances should these violent events be used to justify racist
motives and actions.

Discuss together

Afterwards there was room for questions and discussion. Many participants are in South Africa and could share local impressions. Some were confused about the context of what was happening. By the end of the event, everyone had a better understanding of what was happening.

For us it was a great event. We got a change of perspective and could learn more about the situation in South Africa.
Many thanks!

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