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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

Violent Crime

[Source: The Economist.]

After a spate of murderous attacks in Durban and Johannesburg on migrant workers from neighbouring countries, South Africa badly needs to improve its image on the continent. And at the level of gestures and rhetoric, it is trying to do exactly that. On a visit to Mozambique last month President Jacob Zuma apologised for the violence by a “small minority” of his compatriots which had cost the lives of three people from that country. Then he organised “Africa Day” celebrations in Pretoria, commemorating the creation of a precursor to the African Union (AU) in 1963. Meanwhile, the home-affairs department hastily devised a competition to showcase the merits of “outstanding migrants”; and on June 7th Johannesburg will host an AU summit, where much talk of transcontinental solidarity will doubtless be heard. Read more

[Source: Business Day Live by Setumo Stone.]

The appalling service by the police is often lamented in crime-ridden SA.  But recently it’s not just the ordinary members who have been in the spotlight. Senior police officials are caught up in a web of allegations, including criminal conduct, which has tainted the investigating and supporting units. It appears there are bad officers who exercise enormous power.

And the rot seems to start at the top. Read more

[Source: Mail & Guardian by Heribert Adam, Kogila Moodley.]

The responses to the January 2015 looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto and in April in Durban’s central business district and elsewhere reveal more about the South African national consciousness than the events themselves. The ritual condemnations, the initial denial of xenophobia while labelling it criminality, blaming victims and the convoluted excuses of perpetrators are almost worse than the official silence and long-standing passivity about well-known xenophobic attitudes. When the president insists that “South Africans in general are not xenophobic”, he ignores all surveys (such as Afrobarometer’s) showing that a vast majority distrusts (black) foreigners, wishes to restrict their residence rights and prohibits the eventual acquisition of citizenship. Read more

South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
4.1% y/y in March 2020 (CPI) & +4.5 y/y in February 2020 (PPI)
-1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2019)
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