July 23, 2021

IntelBrief: Violence in South Africa Contributes to Lingering Instability

(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Bottom Line Up Front

  • South Africa is reeling from weeks of protests and demonstrations that devolved into looting and violence, with at least 276 people killed, and thousands arrested.
  • South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was criticized for his inept response to the cascading violence, triggered by the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.
  • The rioting and looting come at a time of broad unrest in South Africa due to the coronavirus, which has devastated the country following a third wave of infections.
  • The violence is the worst since the end of apartheid in 1994, and the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant leaves South Africa hard pressed to recover.