South Africa “ripe for a coup”, according to former ANC leaders

By Carien du Plessis
Posted on Friday, 22 July 2022 20:01

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives for working session during so-called outreach summit at the G7 leaders' summit
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives for working session during so-called outreach summit at the G7 leaders' summit at the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Lukas Barth/File Photo

Former president Thabo Mbeki has warned that conditions are ripe in South Africa for a possible Arab Spring-style putsch - and his view is shared by a number of influential political and business leaders in the country. Is a coup possible in the country home to Africa's most sophisticated economy?

Recent events in Sri Lanka – Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to resign as president earlier this month after protesters took over his home – also prompted South Africa’s intelligence services to re-assess the risk of another uprising in the country.

In July last year in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, large-scale looting and arson saw around 400 people killed and significant economic damage inflicted while police were either unable or unwilling to act. The deployment of the army eventually brought calm.

Arab Spring warning