South Africa. According to countryaah, the ruling party ANC leader Jacob Zuma was elected as expected in May, after the ANC again took a big victory in the parliamentary elections. This time, however, the party did not get the two-thirds majority it needed to be able to change the constitution on its own. The ANC received just under 66 percent of the vote and 264 of Parliament’s 400 seats. The Democratic Alliance (DA) received just under 17 percent and 67 seats, the newly formed breakaway party from the ANC, Cope, just over 7 percent and 30 seats. After the election, cracks soon arose within Cope and several heavy party representatives jumped off.
The months before the parliamentary elections, a debate had arisen again about Zuma’s suitability to lead the country. A court in January gave a clear sign to resume the process against him for suspected corruption in connection with large arms purchases. It was decided that the trial would begin in August – ie after the election. But shortly before the election, prosecutors once again decided to close the prosecution on the grounds that it could not be ruled out that it was presented for political reasons; the same argument as 2008 led the ANC leadership to force Zuma’s rival Thabo Mbeki to leave the presidential post.
Jacob Zuma did not get an easy start on his presidential mandate. For the first time in South Africa, the economy backed in over a decade. Quarterly reports of continued decline and an increasing budget deficit showed that the country was in a deep recession. During the third quarter, it reversed again with growth of 0.9 percent, but the recovery was expected to take a long time. The government revoked a contract for the purchase of military aircraft from Airbus for approximately SEK 45 billion, but decided otherwise to try to withdraw from the crisis. Large infrastructure projects got the go-ahead, and the government promised more money for the fight against poverty and unemployment. The dissatisfaction in society over the difficult times grew, and among other things. municipal workers and construction workers strike. In several poor housing areas for blacks, “townships”, violent protests erupted in July against unemployment, poor housing and poor sanitary conditions. Hundreds of people were arrested and the government threatened to strike back hard, but President Zuma managed to dampen feelings with promises of improvement.
The high crime rate is one of South Africa’s major problems, not least before the next Soccer World Cup held in the country in 2010. A research report on the widespread rape shocked many. Every fourth asked people admitted that he committed rape, half of them more than once and three quarters that it happened the first time already in their teens. The police special force against serious crime was dissolved by the government in January. The decision was suspected to have been made because the force was well over-rated in its investigations against prominent people with good contacts in the ANC leadership, not least against Jacob Zuma himself. A newly formed special force began its work in July.
The controversial former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang passed away in December in cancer. She became notorious for recommending healthy diets instead of brake medication in the fight against the HIV virus.
In August 2012, 36 miners were killed by police in a massacre during a strike in Marikana. Furthermore, 2 policemen and 4 others were killed. 78 were injured. The strike illustrated a large number of the problems that continue to exist in South Africa. There was both a strike against the mining company Lonmin and a conflict over the right of organization. A few months ago, the ANC affiliate of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had lost its organizational right after its degree of organization had dropped from 64% to 49% in the mine. Many miners believed that NUM’s people were too close to employers. An increasing number of miners instead joined the more militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). After the 6-day strike, the strikers were attacked by a special unit of the police that killed 34 workers. The workers were given a pay rise, but at the same time the strikes spread to the rest of the country. By early October, 75,000 miners were on strike. President Jacob Zuma declared dismayed at the massacre and promised to conduct an independent investigation. But the trade union organization COSATU and the South African Communist Party supported the police description of the events and demanded the management of the AMCU arrested.
In July 2013, South Africa condemned the military coup in Egypt and subsequently supported the AU’s suspension of the country.
COSATU’s largest member union’s National Association of Metal Workers (NUMSA) announced in December 2013 that it would not recommend its members to vote on the ANC in the upcoming election. The month after, the union announced that it would seek to form a new working-class collaboration and then seek to form a socialist party that could stand for the 2019 election. Another COSATU faction was given a legal investigation into the possibilities of throwing NUMSA out of COSATU, and in November, NUMSA was excluded.
Also in December 2013, Nelson Mandela died. He was given a statesman’s funeral, where state leaders from the western countries who had supported the apartheid regime in their time appeared in large numbers. Some of them good enough just to take selfies.
Dismissed opposition politician starts new party
Herman Mashaba, former mayor of the country’s largest city Johannesburg, starts a new party called: Action SA. Among other things, Mashaba promises to fight widespread crime and widespread corruption. Mashaba previously belonged to the largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, but left the party in 2019 after an internal quarrel. Local elections for governing bodies in the country’s municipalities and cities will be held in 2021.
Violent protests against fatal shootings
Hundreds of protesters gather in a suburb of Johannesburg to protest the shooting death of a teenager with Down syndrome. The teenager had under unknown circumstances been shot down by a police patrol earlier this week. The reaction to the police’s brutality becomes violent and the protesters throw stones at the police, who respond with tear gas, rubber bullets and shock grenades to disperse the masses. A few days later, two police officers were arrested and the authorities announced that they would be prosecuted for the murder of the teenager.
Demonstration against the murder of farmers
Farmers and farm workers are protesting in the Mookgophong community against the violence affecting the agricultural industry. The demonstration is being held on the same day as three people are brought to justice on suspicion of the murder of a farmer in Mookgophong. For many years, white farmers have drawn attention to the wave of murders they feel is directed at them and which they believe the government, judiciary and police do not take seriously. In the most recent annual compilation (April 2019 to March 2020) of the country’s crime statistics, a total of 21,325 murders were registered. Of these, 49 had taken place on farms. In the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, another pair of farmers is killed at the end of August. A motorcycle demonstration against the violence gathers more than 5,000 protesters in the capital Pretoria.
Alcohol and tobacco back for sale
The number of new cases of covid-19 is decreasing and against that background, President Cyril Ramaphosa eases the restrictions. For the first time since the end of March, it is again legal to sell tobacco products. The ban on alcohol sales is also lifted. The sales halt has been controversial and critics claim that the state has lost many millions in tax revenue while increasing the illegal sale of tobacco and alcohol.