Eight days in July 2021

Eight days in July 2021
So many awful or terrifying events have happened over the two years that it is difficult to keep track of them. Reading a detailed account of the failed insurrection in South Africa in July 2021 is a case in point. It happened only a short time ago, but it seems more than nine months ago that it occurred because so much has happened since then, and what is on the agenda now for South Africa are political assassinations, flooding and deaths in KwaZulu Natal, the true rate of Covid-related deaths, along with the other horrible things that have happened world-wide.

An excellent, detailed firsthand investigation of the eight key days of the failed insurrection by journalist team Hunter, Singh and Wicks, cover shown here, does a very good job of reminding readers of the vast tentacle-like networks of corruption and violence that supported these events, which destroyed thousands of jobs along with the infrastructure that was burned or otherwise destroyed and damaged, and led to the deaths of many people. Their book also raises wider issues and forms an important component of any library of works exploring what state capture actually means in practice.

Some of the wider questions to which the authors provide thoughtful responses include, were these events actually an insurrection, a protest by pro-Zuma interests that got out of hand, the flexing of muscle by thugs and criminals with links to political figures, the resistance of the poor who looted whatever they could? All of these, it seems.

Last updated: 28 April 2022