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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Politicsweb by John Kane-Berman.]

A striking feature of the reaction to the vandalism unleashed by the Rhodes must Fall movement at the University of Cape Town a few years ago was that various academics and others bent over backwards to condone it. Last week, by contrast, there was widespread condemnation of threats by the African National Congress (ANC) youth league in the Free State to burn copies of Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture.

Highlighting the threats, and reporting on the destruction of copies of the book at a shop in Sandton, the Daily Maverick ran the headline “It is there, where they burn books, that eventually they burn people.” The ANC made a statement of condemnation. So did Cyril Ramaphosa. Even Ace Magashule said it was “unfortunate that comrades burn this book”.

But the Daily Maverick’s headline got things back to front. In South Africa the comrades were burning people before they got around to books. And while the ANC has swiftly condemned the promised burning of the exposé of Comrade Magashule, it was equivocal about the burning of people via the necklace method. Some ANC worthies still hanker after its use: Tony Yengeni recently tweeted that tyres were waiting for the mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, in troubled Alexandra township.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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