Two weeks of anti-foreigner violence in South Africa have highlighted the growing disconnect between a public impatient for change and a governing party that claims a divine right to rule. Although there is little prospect of the African National Congress (ANC) losing next year's elections, genuine signs of anger have emerged during the crisis.
South African President Thabo Mbeki, already under fire for perceived policy failings that caused an anti-immigrant backlash in his country, now faces questions about his handling of the crisis. The head of state is yet to visit the worst affected areas of Johannesburg after two weeks of violence against foreigners.
Anti-foreigner violence in South Africa has already hit the mining sector, a mainstay of the domestic economy, and threatens to undermine confidence among international investors, analysts say. Even before the unrest broke out, the outlook for the South African economy was clouded by uncertainty.
<a href="http://www.mg.co.za/specialreport.aspx?area=zuma_report"><img src="http://www.mg.co.za/ContentImages/243078/zuma.jpg" align=left border=0></a>Addressing an audience in London on Wednesday, Tony Leon -- the former leader of the Democratic Alliance -- expressed fears that under Jacob Zuma as president, South Africa could revert to a stereotype of "Big Man", African-style kleptocracy replete with redistributive and populist economics with lashings of demagoguery.
Two weeks after the start of the xenophobic attacks in Gauteng, the government and police are still at a loss on how to handle the escalating violence. "The attacks keep on taking us by surprise. When we think the situation is under control something erupts somewhere else," an official from the Department of Home Affairs told the <i>Mail & Guardian</i> on Monday.
Another foreigner has been killed in South Africa as a wave of xenophobic violence spreads across Johannesburg, bringing the weekend death toll to 13, police said on Monday. The violence against foreigners, who are accused by many South Africans of depriving locals of jobs and committing crime, has spread across townships since the beginning of last week.
<a href="http://www.mg.co.za/specialreport.aspx?area=zuma_report"><img src="http://www.mg.co.za/ContentImages/243078/zuma.jpg" align=left border=0></a>Addressing the students and teachers at a University of Zululand graduation ceremony in Empangeni on Friday, African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma said that nation-building is not only about people's attitudes. "We must understand that nation-building requires that we tackle the material differences between our people," he said.
There is no campaign to drive foreigners out of Alexandra, said African National Congress provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile on Wednesday outside the home of a victim of this week's alleged xenophobic attacks in the Johannesburg township that have claimed three lives. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela also visited the township on Wednesday.
Inflation targeting is likely to be reviewed, because if South Africa's policymakers only use interest rates as the tool to fight inflation, the country is in for a nasty generational learning experience as the policy will not be removing the cause of inflation, said Chris Hart, chief economist from Investment Solutions.
SABMiller announced on Wednesday that Transnet head Maria Ramos has joined their board as an independent non-executive director. "During her career, Ms Ramos has won a multitude of accolades, including being named as South Africa's Businesswoman of the Year in 2001, and <i>Sunday Times</i> Business Leader of the Year 2005," said SABMiller.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for a fourth militia leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for recruiting child soldiers to fight in the country's devastating civil war, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Bosco Ntaganda was charged for his actions during the conflict in the eastern province of Ituri.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday rejected foreign criticism of his country as international pressure mounted for him to stand down. "Zimbabwe has a history and heritage and it will never be afraid. Zimbabwe is not for sale and Zimbabwe will never be a colony again," Mugabe said at the opening of an international trade fair in Bulawayo.
President Thabo Mbeki will attend a Southern African Development Community (SADC) emergency summit this weekend in Zambia on the post-election crisis in Zimbabwe. However, Mbeki's cherished policy of "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe has been rejected by his own party.
Abbey Makoe, chairperson of the Forum of Black Journalists (FBJ), has lashed out at a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) finding regarding a controversial FBJ meeting where white journalists were barred based on the colour of their skin, calling it "nothing more than a judicial ambush" and a "banning order".