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Jul 21, 2021
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Towards Events in South Africa: Coup Attempt or Counter-Revolution?

The main contradiction remains unresolved, and therefore the situation in the country is extremely tense

Recent weeks have ushered in a new era in South African political life

Firstly, the toughest lockdown on the continent was tightened three times in a row. “The first level of self-isolation” within a few days was transferred to the second, then to the third and finally to the fourth level. Socio-economic contradictions have escalated to the limit. Unemployment for the first time in the history of the country reached 32.6%.

Secondly, the massacre of the parliamentary faction of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, associated with the name of former President Jacob Zuma, began.

Thirdly, in the country there were massive pogroms of shopping centers.

And it’s all connected.

J. Zuma was removed from the presidency in February 2018. Formally, he resigned, but it was the result of an ultimatum given to him by the top leadership of the ANC (“leading six”). Taking into account the peculiarities of the political system of South Africa, where the head of state is elected by parliament (that is, the ruling party), the ultimatum from the leadership of the party to the head of state meant the threat of impeachment. J. Zuma preferred an involuntary resignation. Vice-President S. Ramapos became the head of state.

Zuma’s dismissal was followed by an “anti-corruption” campaign. The goal is good, but the means, to put it mildly, are dubious. Instead of the usual order of investigation (prosecutor’s office, investigation, courts), the so-called Zondo Commission was created, named after its chairman and … the only member of the judge, Raymond Zondo. The “commission” procedure does not provide for any procedural guarantees: there are no rights of the accused, there are no procedural guarantees (for example, the right to cross-examination). It is a parajudicial body.

The oddities of the “commission” do not end there. As shown by her work, all the statements of the so-called witnesses who claimed the corruption of J. Zuma were taken on faith without any evidence. Assertions to the contrary, or testimonies in relation to persons who are not supporters of J. Zuma, met with a sharply negative reaction.

Such double standards provoked a protest from J. Zuma, who was summoned to the “commission”. Zuma demanded dismissal of R. Zondo, but his claim was considered … by Zondo himself, who stated that he was not convinced by the arguments presented. This demonstrative mockery provoked J. Zuma’s refusal to testify further.

After that, Zondo demanded for J. Zuma … imprisonment for refusing to testify!

As wild as Zondo’s demand seemed, it … was granted. The former head of state was sentenced by the Constitutional Court to one and a half years in prison. The first case of imprisonment without trial!

This judicial rage is not a separate episode. The removal of J. Zuma from the presidency was not enough. Supporters of Zuma, who are also supporters of the restoration of the country’s economic independence and the elimination of external control, remained in the highest bodies of the ruling party. Before the judicial (or rather, extrajudicial!) Reprisals against Zuma, his supporter in the “leading six” – the secretary general of the ANC Ace Magashule was subjected to repression. He was taken out of the game with an “elegant” move: Magashule’s membership in the party was “suspended”! Prior to that, the organization of the Veterans of the ANC military wing during the struggle against the apartheid regime was disbanded. Umkonto ve sizwe (“Copy of the peoples”). To understand the direction of the strike, we recall that J. Zuma was the head of intelligence Umkonto we sizwe

The next blow came when the former president was actually arrested and jailed! This caused massive protests of the population, primarily in the central province of Hauteng (where the capital Pretoria and the largest cities, in particular Johannesburg) and in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (where the bulk of the Zulu people, to which Zuma belongs), live. The protests were accompanied by the looting of shops. The media (unfortunately, Russian) presented the case in such a way that robberies and riots took place in South Africa, but this is only a small tip of the iceberg: the events in the country are much more complex and complex.

In a speech to the nation, President Cyril Ramaposa named events in the country “A well-planned and organized attack on democracy” and “Attempted rebellion.” An army was introduced in the provinces of Hauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The circumstances surrounding the involvement of the army in suppressing the disaffected look strange. For several days of pogroms, the police were inactive. Witnesses say that she simply was not there. Why? No answer. Even stranger, the question “Where were the police?” meticulous journalists of local TV channels do not ask together….

What’s happening in South Africa?

The President talks about a coup attempt. The statement of the Minister of Defense N. Mapisa-Nkakula, which actually disavowed the qualifications given by the head of state, sounded dissonant. She declared that it was a “counter-revolution”, although the next day she withdrew her statement, saying that it was “an attempted rebellion.”

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki also called what was happening counter-revolution. Perhaps this is a rare case when it is difficult to agree with one of the largest political intellectuals. Despite the transfer of political power in 1994 from the hands of the apartheid regime to the hands of the ANC, there was no revolution in the strict sense of the word: ownership of the means of production and, as a result, economic power still remains in the hands of the same forces that ruled everything in South Africa. last century. In this situation, it is difficult to talk about counterrevolution, whatever forces T. Mbeki had in mind.

And none of the parties names these forces directly. Although the ears of some foreign participants in the events are sticking out.

Amnesty International appeared, which made a statement on the need to respect human rights during the “pacification” of the population. Presumably, the demand for pacification was the main one in the statement….

The Financial International (Finintern) showed itself when one of its bodies is a rating agency Moody’s – downgraded the investment rating of … five municipalities of the country. This is the first time! Previously, the pressure on the South African authorities was a downgrade of the rating of the entire country as a whole. This time – a number of municipalities in the provinces, where protests broke out!

Qualifying events in South Africa as “attempted rebellion” or “counter-revolution” is inaccurate. In the country, there was a clash of groups within the ruling ANC party. These groupings represent two opposite concepts of the country’s development, oriented, respectively, towards national and external forces. One of the factions tried to finally end the resistance of the other, but underestimated its strength. This main contradiction remains unresolved, and therefore the situation in the country is extremely tense.

Photo: Twitter / mag_chriss

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