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Culture

Criticism and protests against the apartheid policy have played a prominent role in South African culture.

During the politically troubled 1970s and 1980s, a protest theater was developed with banned plays in hidden basements. The plays were entertaining and at the same time conveyed information about the living conditions in the black sleeping towns. Well-known, for example, is the Market Theater from Johannesburg, which has collaborated with the Stockholm City Theater. The protest theater developed dance and music styles such as toyi-toyi (war dance), mapant sole (sleeping city jazz) and isicatamiya (driving tradition from the mines and bachelor hotels).

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of South Africa, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

Criticism of race politics has also played a major role in fiction. This included, for example, authors such as Nadine Gordimer (Nobel Prize 1991), André Brink and Breyten Breytenbach.

Among the more well-known black writers are the so-called Soweto poets such as Mongane Wally Serote, Oswald Mtshali and Sipho Sepamla. The abolition of apartheid and the introduction of democracy meant a major change for many socially critical writers.

Among the country's other modern writers are JM Coetzee (Nobel Prize 2003), Pamela Jooste, Sindiwe Magona and Peter Abrahams.

  • Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of South Africa. Artists and albums are also included.

Culture of South AfricaThe musical life is polarized between European music and African folk music, but a fusion of styles has become a popular genre of its own. The strongest musical link between the folk groups is the choral music. Africans have discovered Western liturgical choral music and Western choirs have recorded the folk music of African cultures. The more renowned artists include singer Miriam Makeba and jazz pianist Ibraham Abdullah (Dollar Brand).

South African film has had several successes. The Gold Bear at the Berlin Film Festival went to U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha in 2005, a filmization of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen on xhosa directed by Mark Dornford-May. Drum by Zola Maseko won the 2005 film festival in Oagadougou. In 2006, Gavin Hood received an Oscar for Best Foreign Film for Tsotsi.

2018

November

President Ramaphosa in windy weather

November 18

President Ramaphosa announces that he will repay campaign grants of the equivalent of $ 35,000 to a company with links to his son. Ramaphosa also admits that he failed Parliament on the grant. In October 2017 he said that the money was compensation he had received for consulting work for the company Bosasa, which works for several government agencies. Later, Ramaphosa said the money was a contribution to his campaign to become the ANC chairman. According to an ANC spokesman, President Ramaphosa did not know that the donation was made and the spokesman stated that all contributions to Ramaphosa's campaign should now be examined.

Another minister resigns

November 13

Minister of the Interior Malusi Gigaba resigns after being accused by a public ombudsman of having served in a court hearing. The court examined whether Gigaba promised the well-to-do Oppenheimer family a private terminal at Johannesburg Airport. This is the second time in just over a month that a minister will resign after allegations of lying (see October 9, 2018). With Gigaba's departure, one of ex-President Zuma's most loyal supporters disappears from the government. Gigaba, who was finance minister during ex-President Zuma's time in power, has among other things figured in the corruption legacy surrounding the Gupta financial family, which, among other things, is suspected of being favored by Zuma in the procurement of government contracts. Gigaba is replaced by Siyabonga Cwele.

The tax chief gets fired

November 1st

President Ramaphosa dismisses the head of the country's tax authority Tom Moyane, who is accused of having turned the once-effective authority into a chaos through multi-year mismanagement. Since the then President Jacob Zuma in 2014 appointed Moyane as chief and filled other posts with the tax authority with his supporters, the annual tax collection targets could not be met, the AFP news agency writes.

October

Power struggle in Cape Town

October 31st

Just over six months before the parliamentary elections in spring 2019, the opposition party Democratic Alliance is shaken by a bitter fight. The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, announces that she will resign from her post and leave the Democratic Alliance, which in recent months has tried to exclude her. Patricia de Lille is accused by the party leadership of corruption and of having failed in office during her seven years as mayor of Cape Town.

Whites get jailed for murder of a youngster

October 17

Two white men are found by a court guilty of killing a black boy they accused of stealing sunflowers on a farm in the northwest part of the country. The young man broke his neck when he was thrown out during a drive. According to the judgment, the men will receive a prison sentence of 18 and 23 years respectively.

Liaison traps the Minister of Finance

October 9

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene resigns after admitting that he lied about his contacts with the financial family Gupta, which is at the center of one of the scandals surrounding former President Jacob Zuma (see August 20, 2018). Nene has previously said that he only met the Gupta brothers in a social context but in interrogation with the Public Investigation Commission investigating the allegations against Zuma, Nene states that he participated in six meetings at the Gupta's residence. Nene has been one of President Ramaphosa's closest allies in the government and although Nene himself is not accused of any crime, his departure is a hardship for Ramaphosa who promised to deal with the corruption.

September

Economic reforms must reverse negative developments

September 21

The government is launching a series of reforms aimed at stimulating the economy and attracting foreign investors to the country. The plan includes large investments in infrastructure and a lifting of the visa rules to promote tourism, which accounts for 10 percent of GDP. Money will also be invested in creating jobs in agriculture, in poor suburbs and in rural areas. During the second quarter of 2018, the economy went into recession, ie the country's GDP shrunk.

August

Corruption during Zuma's presidency is being investigated

20th of August

A public inquiry commission, the Zondo Commission, begins its work on investigating high-level corruption. First in line is former President Jacob Zuma, who is accused of systematically plundering the state's coffers during his time as president from 2009 to 2018. Zuma was previously charged with corruption in the 1990s (see March 16, 2018). Investigators at the Zondo Commission are expected to focus specifically on Zuma's contacts with the powerful financial family Gupta. Zuma is accused of helping the family to obtain favorable contracts with state-owned companies and to have it influence the appointment of ministers. Ironically, it was Zuma himself who commissioned the corruption investigation in January, just over a month before he was forced to leave the presidential post. The investigation is expected to last for two years.

The prosecutor is kicked

August 13th

The Constitutional Court orders that prosecutor Shaun Abrahams be replaced. The Court considers that Abraham's predecessors were deposed in an unconstitutional manner and that Abrahams is therefore not entitled to his office. Abrahams who was named state prosecutor in 2015 by Jacob Zuma who was then president has been accused of protecting Zuma and his allies. However, in March 2018, after Zuma was appointed president, Abrahams gave the green light for corruption charges against Zuma (see March 16, 2018).

July

South Africa accepts the AU Free Trade Agreement

July 2

South Africa and four other countries join the African Union Free Trade Agreement AFCFTA at the summit of the organization in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott. Before the free trade area can become a reality, the agreement must be ratified at the national level.

March

Clear sign for prosecution against Zuma

March 16

State Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams announces that ex-president Jacob Zuma will face trial on corruption charges in 16 cases. The Prosecutor General has been considering the case since October 2017 when the Supreme Court of Appeal announced that charges could be brought against Zuma for corruption in connection with the big arms deal in 1999, when South Africa bought weapons for five billion dollars from five European companies, including the Swedish JAS plan. In 2005, Zuma was indicted on 783 points for corruption, fraud and money laundering in connection with the arms deal, but the charges were dropped in 2009 when Zuma became president.

February

Stronger grip on landowners is planned

February 27th

Parliament is voting to initiate a change in the Constitution to make it possible to expropriate land without compensating the owners; In this way, the government hopes to gain momentum on the land reform that was staged when the ANC came to power almost 24 years ago.

The new government is presented

February 26th

President Ramaphosa presents his new government. Most of the ministers who stood close to former president Zuma have been replaced. Only five ministers may retain their posts. ANC Deputy Chairman David Mabuza becomes Vice President, Lindiwe Sisulu becomes Foreign Minister, Malusi Gigaba is appointed Home Minister and Nhlanhla Nene becomes Finance Minister. Nene was fired from the same post by Zuma in December 2015. Pravin Gordhan, who was Finance Minister both before and after Nene and who was also fired by Zuma, becomes Minister responsible for the state companies. Opposition parties DA and EFF support the appointments of Nene and Gordhan.

Ramaphosa new president

February 15

Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa is appointed by Parliament to resign Jacob Zuma at the post. In his speech, Ramaphosa promises to devote himself to fighting corruption in society. His representative Jacob Zuma has a long line of corruption charges hanging over him. As long as Zuma was president he could not be prosecuted but now the door to a number of legal proceedings is opened. Ramaphosa has previously said that justice should have its way and that there is no reason to discriminate against Zuma after his departure.

Zuma announces his departure

February 14th

The ANC threatens to defraud President Zuma through a vote of no confidence. Zuma bends over the pressure and announces that he is resigning with immediate effect but at the same time states that he does not agree with the party leadership that he is a burden. As a reason for his decision, Zuma states that he does not want to divide the ANC. Earlier in the day, police searched the financial family of Gupta's home. Gupta and Zuma have close relationships and the finance family has been accused of gaining great political influence through the friendship with Zuma.

The ANC asks Zuma to step down

February 13

The ANC decides to "withdraw" President Zuma from the presidential post. According to party members who have spoken with South African media, Zuma should have sat across from him when he was reached by the news and threatened with revenge, but the official version that the ANC conveys is that the party and Zuma agree that he will resign. At a press conference, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule announces that he expects Zuma to leave his post on Wednesday, February 14. Against the background of the Zuma crisis, the opposition parties are demanding an early release of the elections scheduled for 2019.

Zuma's future in the running

6th of February

The ANC's top management decides that President Zuma's annual speech to the nation should be canceled, which raises speculation about Zuma's future. The party leadership has for some time scheduled a meeting to discuss this particular issue, but after discussions between Zuma and the ANC's newly elected chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, the discussion is postponed for a week.

New mistrust against Zuma

February 2

The radical opposition party EFF calls for Parliament to hold a new vote of confidence in President Zuma. The vote is set for February 22.

January

Zuma initiates corruption investigation

January 9

President Zuma announces the appointment of a public commission of inquiry to investigate cases of corruption at the highest level within the state apparatus. Thus, Zuma hears a decision from the Supreme Court in December. Zuma's announcement comes a few days after Parliament announced that it will soon begin deliberations on a regulatory framework for the dismissal of a sitting president.

 

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