Why Violence and Looting Has Exploded Across South Africa

Originally published at: Why Violence and Looting Has Exploded Across South Africa – Quillette

The explosion of looting and destruction which has overtaken South Africa has left the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa shaken and dazed, its credibility and legitimacy undermined. Ramaphosa’s broadcasts to the nation, appealing for calm, full of cliches and generalities, have met with derision. Nobody doubts that South Africa has reached another Rubicon, one which…


“the task of governance” is not “a whole lot more difficult than [the ANC] imagined.”

The problem with all government is that politicians experience and practice government as a matter of loot and plunder. With lefty governments loot and plunder are sacralized as a matter of Holy Marxist Writ.

Problem with loot and plunder is that they reduce wealth overall.

Here’s a radical idea: Don’t loot the private sector; don’t promise loot to your supporters. Live happily ever after.

Of course, you could never get elected dog-catcher on that kind of platform.


An interesting article. Having read a little about African Foreign Aid and African Development economics, I understand South Africa might fit into a category which is common in the region, that of extractive Government. It is something Leftists don’t seem to understand- Government and the special interests it fosters can be every bit as extractive as the most rapacious and extractive conglomeration of corporations.

Recently, one elected politician officiating at a new Foreign Aid project in Kenya was heard to bemoan the never empty pockets of Western Governments: “If you they would stop giving us things, we might actually elect governments which might actually do something useful for a change.” One can live in hope, I suppose.

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I think we can confidently expect a substantial outflow of European, mixed race and Indian refugees from South Africa. They will I am sure make very fine new chums in Australia and fit in very nicely with the rest of Anglo-Australia.

That is not to say we should be too sympathetic. Anyone with half a brain could see which way the wind was blowing, even back in the 1950s. Despite having relatives in South Africa, my parents did not even consider migrating there, for precisely that reason.

All that most of (but not all) the black nationalists were ever interested in, was getting their hands on the money; i.e., the low hanging fruit off the nation state. And that has been a pattern throughout Africa since the beginning of ‘decolonization’.

I recall a senior South African mining exec saying to me (I was a limo driver for Crown Casino in Melbourne) back in around 2002-3, that if Jacob Zuma ever got anywhere near the levers of power, it would be game over for South Africa. Old Communists make excellent state looters as they have also found in the wretched post Soviet remains of the Russian empire.

The worst of it has come to pass in South Africa. It is game over and rats that have not escaped this creaking ship of state when it was still in a port of potential disembarkation, are likely to sink with it out at sea, as soon as a storm hits, which it has.

There is nowhere to hide now and the privileged will share the same fate as their impoverished counterparts in the townships. We’ll take you guys, but you will have to take your turn with all the other hopefuls, and equally deserving, who have been rotting in refugee camps for decades.

It is hard to get servants in refugee camps these days. Boo Hoo. By the time you get to sunny Australia, you will no doubt have learned to cook, clean and look after your own children, and acquired the humility necessary to live and work in a multicultural society where you are no longer automatically part of the elite.


The article provides an excellent description of the current situation and its background.

While South Africa was one of the most advanced countries on the continent at the end of apartheid, it has been steadily approaching the African average ever since, with the potential for even more unimagined tragedies as it continues its downward trajectory.

Sadly, this seems to be the path that the majority of the population is consciously or unconsciously contributing to. Extremely unfortunate for the more sensible ones who are stuck in the same country with them. Hopefully there will be a safe haven for the latter when they need it…


The writer alludes to the fact that Joseph Zuma is Zulu, and much of the violence and looting has been organized by his Zulu supporters. Zulu are the largest tribal groups in South Africa, slightly more than the Xhosa. Historically the leadership of African National Congress has been representative of many different tribes. Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki were Xhosa, Oliver Tambo was Pondo Cyril Ramaphosa is Venda.

The question which I don’t see explicitly asked, but seems implied, is whether and to what extent South Africa this is the beginning of a descent in inter-tribal violence, and the regional aspects of that. Does anybody have any insight?

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This will also add energy and determination re; Zulus wish to secede from South Africa ( and gain land back that was ‘taken’ they say illegally) etc…

SA has become a failed state…