This history covers twelve decades, from the surrender of Boer guerrillas in the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902 to the July 2021 looting spree and violence.
If proposed amendments to the law are passed, it will no longer be possible to acquire a firearm licence for self-defence in the country. This has sparked heated debate.
Much of the commentary on the July riots, which cost over 300 lives and billions of rands in damage to the economy, has neglected the long history of violent protests in the country.
The violence wreaked its damage because South Africa’s journey to democracy remains incomplete. It sends a sharp message that the country must look its past far more squarely in the eye.
Hunger is not the cause of the current social upheaval. But, taken along with other deep-rooted structural inequalities, it provides additional fuel for socio-political conflagration.
An uncomfortable reality is that looting is perceived by the looters to be socially acceptable and is often encouraged and endorsed within social and community networks.
Corruption thrives in a destabilised state with weak institutions. South Africa cannot be allowed back to that space because there will be no turning back.
Two interventions proved effective in reducing men’s perpetration, but not women’s experiences of violence.
Underlying direct or personal violence is structural violence that is entrenched in unequal power relations in society.