The violence that erupted in South Africa between 8 and 17 July 2021 is likely to be remembered as a watershed moment in South African democracy.
More than 350 people lost their lives in stampedes, clashes with police and attacks by military and vigilante groups in response to mass looting and the targeted burning of property. Some have argued that the uprisings – sparked by protests responding to the arrest of former President, Jacob Zuma – were an inevitable result of a drastically unequal society plagued by unrelenting poverty and ever-worsening social conditions. Others have argued that they were an orchestrated attempt to create political instability. Questions have been raised around evidence that the government had clear warning of these events.
The conditions that helped produce these events remain the norm everywhere in South Africa, people are becoming increasingly desperate, with young people in particular facing futures that carry little hope. Join us in engaging activists and journalists who were there in on understanding this moment in our recent past and what these ongoing conditions mean going forward, as well as remembering the lives that were lost.