In late August 2019, mere days before mass violence erupted in central Johannesburg, the Baloyi Commission released its report into the corruption that had been plaguing the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela, an indigenous community of 350,000, since at least 1998.
The looting of their resources by mining conglomerates and its own government-approved chief held lessons that informed the rising anger not just in this country, but in Africa and the world at large. It also held lessons for the fast-approaching time when conflict over food and water would be the norm.
(See part one here and part two here)
There was nothing new about the statement. As the black smoke billowed over downtown Johannesburg, reminding the residents of the suburbs that the veneer of civilisation is razor-thin, the voice on the radio said it all. There was no name to go with the voice, which was just as well, because it was a statement that could have been made in any era, by any human being, in any state or kingdom on the verge of collapse.
"We are looting because we are hungry."
The next day, as if to verify its timelessness and the fact that human nature doesn't change,...