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Attacks, protests spoil SA’s investment showcase

Ramaphosa shifts attention from WEF to addressing the surge in femicide.
President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce an action plan to tackle the increase in violence against women on Thursday. Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

The World Economic Forum on Africa was supposed to be South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s chance to prove his nation’s claim to being the continent’s top investment destination. It’s all gone horribly wrong.

The lead-up to the gathering of political and business leaders in Cape Town was marred by a series of xenophobic attacks, with scores of foreign-owned businesses burnt and looted, and mass protests against horrific abuse of women. A demonstration was held outside the WEF meeting on Wednesday and saw police firing stun grenades and water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Read: Woman murdered every three hours in South Africa stokes protests

Attacks on foreigners in South Africa prompt stock market pain

On Thursday, about 10 000 protesters gathered outside parliament in the city to demand that the government do more to tackle femicide, and Ramaphosa cancelled an appearance at WEF to address them. He pledged to announce an action plan in a nationwide address later in the day.

One woman is killed in South Africa every three hours, police statistics show, while the country has been plagued by intermittent attacks on foreigners, who are seen by some in poor communities as competitors for jobs, housing and business opportunities. At least seven people have been killed in the latest wave of attacks, which have drawn outrage from other African government.

The violence couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ramaphosa, who’s been on a drive to attract $100 billion of new investment, revive the economy and tackle a 29% unemployment rate.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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In SA we just tell everybody what they like to hear. Even if it is a big fat lie.

All the lies are catching up.

Thuggish police teargas schoolgirls, drench them with a water cannon and all because the ANC puts more effort into cadre deployment than actually running the country properly.

I hear on radio CapeTalk that a woman has been to court 28 times in attempting to get justice served after being raped. Is this something to be proud of Mr President?

So we will get harsher sentences for criminals that are never caught, investigated or prosecuted.

Again this elegantly absolves the unidentified leader and his party from any responsibility.

At the end of the very few successful prosecutions it will be the judiciary, not the executive, that passes the prescribed sentences.

End of comments.

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