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
Mbeki on Thursday 21 July told mourners at the memorial service of African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary Jessie Duarte, who died on Sunday after suffering from cancer, that he fears South Africa could have its “own version of the Arab Spring”.
He referred to Tunisia, where the rebellion started in 2010 and where the government was overthrown by the
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