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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: The Economist.]

James Gubb was finishing off the knuckles when the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) shut him down. Trading single shares between two accounts, Mr Gubb had managed to “draw” the image of a fist with an upright middle finger onto the share-price chart for Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited, a company controlled by the Gupta brothers, cronies of President Jacob Zuma, that is at the centre of allegations of “state capture” in South Africa.

Mr Gubb, a former hedge-fund manager, considers his middle-finger salute to be protest art. South Africa is in the grip of a sprawling corruption scandal; the Guptas are accused of abusing their close ties with Mr Zuma’s family to influence cabinet appointments and win government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars (they deny allegations of wrongdoing). Mr Gubb created his artwork after Mr Zuma fired a respected finance minister. “Protest art has a very strong foundation in South Africa, crude as this might be,” Mr Gubb says.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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