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When South Africa sneezes, Zimbabwe catches the cold

By Farai Shawn Matiashe
Posted on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 11:03

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa in Harare, Zimbabwe March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

On Friday 9 July, South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy, witnessed its worst unrest in decades with angry protesters turning violent, malls being looted and public and private properties set ablaze. The rioting hurt the South African economy and this in turn hit hard its neighbours - those who rely heavily on Pretoria for trading. Zimbabwe in particular has caught a chill. 

The violence, to which President Cyril Ramaphosa responded by deploying the military, has claimed the lives of over 70 people while over 1,700 people have been arrested.

Violent protests erupted in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal after former South African president Jacob Zuma was jailed on 7 July for contempt of court after he refused to testify before a special commission that has been investigating corruption allegations linked to his tenure as head of state.