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Rioters threw stones and looted shops during a recent protest at the Phomolong informal settlement outside Pretoria. Reuters/Striger

The link between public violence and xenophobia in South Africa

The past decade has shown a strong connection between political protests and the looting of foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Research shows that local leaders use protests to maintain their power.
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa unsuccessfully pleads for calm with angry ANC supporters. EPA/Ihsaan Haffejee

Violence in South Africa’s capital leaves ANC vulnerable at the polls

Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.

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