Gretchen Geller and Mokai Malope Look Back on the Recent Unrest In South Africa


Violence erupted across South Africa in early July. Riots, looting and battling political factions led to mass destruction and more than 300 deaths in mostly rural areas of the country. KBMF has a longstanding relationship with Nongoma FM in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa and an envoy from the station visited Butte in 2017. Mokai Malope is the financial officer for the radio station and joined KBMF’s Gretchen Geller in a conversation recently about the state of affairs in South Africa.

The unrest in South Africa has been mostly attributed to political factions fighting over corruption charges, but the moment has been seized by poor blacks in rural areas who see the looting as a means to feed there families. With nothing to lose, the poor find themselves in a situation where not taking advantage of opportunities like this could mean death and despair. Rumors that the flames of the fire had been stoked as a distraction for political gains have led to even more distrust in a government that has so far failed to reconcile with the trauma of Apartheid.