Criticism and protests against the apartheid
policy have played a prominent role in South African
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
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.
The 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
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.
President Ramaphosa in windy weather
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
Another minister resigns
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
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.
Power struggle in Cape Town
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
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
Liaison traps the Minister of Finance
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.
Economic reforms must reverse negative developments
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
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
The prosecutor is kicked
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).
South Africa accepts the AU Free Trade Agreement
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.
Clear sign for prosecution against Zuma
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.
Stronger grip on landowners is planned
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Zuma initiates corruption investigation
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