Things Fall Apart: 8 Days of Unrest in South Africa

Original Air Date




Youth reporters from across South Africa take to the streets to speak with their communities in an attempt to reckon with the violent unrest that erupted in July 2021 following the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.


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Judge Sisi Khampepe: The Constitutional Court makes the following order: Mr. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, is sentenced to undergo 15 months imprisonment.

Lesedi Mogoatlhe: That’s Judge Sisi Khampepe. On June 29th, she delivered the verdict that sentenced former South African President Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison with no option to appeal. The verdict did not go down well with many of Zuma’s supporters.

News reporter: I can tell you that, as you can see behind me, these ANC members from Mpumalanga Province, they say they are here at the former President’s home to support him, as he is left with only a few days to hand himself over to the nearest police station.

Zuma supporter: Shoot us, mos! We want to die for Zuma! Why you do like this? Always you give Zuma a serious problem!

Lesedi Mogoatlhe: On July 7th, shortly before the midnight deadline, Zuma handed himself over to the authorities at the Estcourt Correctional Centre, and there began his jail term.

What followed was perhaps the worst violence South Africa has experienced since the end of Apartheid.

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