As the ashes begin to cool across KwaZulu-Natal, it is slowly becoming possible to take some measure of the enormity of the moment. It is one that will be remembered for generations to come. The flow of ordinary life, and the usually more slow and steady movement of history, have been ripped apart.
Books will be written, empirical knowledge gathered and refined, and debates carried out for generations to come. In this moment there are some things that we know and some that we don’t. It is necessary to repeat that the food riots, perhaps the largest in recent human history, were a largely spontaneous rupture rooted in hunger, desperation and a deep sense of abandonment by the state – a state that is systemically, fundamentally and brazenly corrupt. The food riots were overwhelmingly autonomous from the authoritarian and predatory political project carried out in the name of Jacob Zuma…..more