The 2021 riots and looting in South Africa

An uneasy calm now exists in South Africa since earlier this month after having seen the worst violence since apartheid. The violence and looting followed upon the jailing of the President Jacob Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt of court on 29 June this year. That was after he refused to appear before a commission investigating corruption during his nine years in office. He handed himself over to police on 7 July. His arrest led to protests, violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and consequently spread to Gauteng province. Zuma was a controversial figure to say the least. But that is not what concerns us here. What led to the protests and why, and what is it about South Africa that would lead to such large riots? We’ll have a look at those matters here and South Africa’s astrology.

We begin our investigations here with a look at the chart of the nation as the background. The chart for South Africa is below (bigger):

The general aspects on first glance look rather promising – a Sun/Jupiter trine showing the wealth the nation has enjoyed in the past; a Sun/Ceres sextile, which shows South Africa’s reputation as one of the better-off nations in Africa with a relatively high standard of living, despite its aridity and low-value farmland; and the Sun/Moon square which gives the nation drive, quickness of perception and the ability to adapt quickly to circumstances. The latter square is one of the ‘success squares’. Others are the Sun/Saturn and Moon/Saturn squares, and there are others as well, but these do not feature in South Africa’s chart. The ‘high standard of living’ mentioned is deceptive, though, and an overall figure.

Parsing the deceptive nature of the mentioned high standard of living begins with the Sun/Moon square. This particular aspect usually indicates trouble in the immediate environment at the time of birth, the obvious one for South Africa being the relations between the white settlers and the black population, as well as the wide wealth gap, which brings us to the midpoints.

There are two troublesome midpoints to the Sun:

  • Sun=Saturn/Neptune: “…illness as a consequence of emotional suffering or upsets, lack of vitality, a sensitive physique, a propensity to illness, disease.”
  • Sun=Mars/Saturn: “Weak vitality, the inability to meet all demands or to master all situations, the necessity to overcome illness. – The illness or the death of members of the male population.”

The Sun/Jupiter trine offsets quite a lot of the difficulties for South Africa, which has one of the strongest mining sectors in the world, being renowned for gold and diamond mining. However, poverty levels are high and the wealth is concentrated among whites:

“South Africa has a mixed economy, the third largest in Africa after Nigeria and Egypt. It also has a relatively high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (US$11,750 at purchasing power parity as of 2012). Despite this, South Africa is still burdened by a relatively high rate of poverty and unemployment, and is also ranked in the top ten countries in the world for income inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient. In 2015, 71 percent of net wealth are held by 10 percent richest of the population, whereas 60 percent of the poorest held only 7 percent of the net wealth and the Gini coefficient was 0.63, whereas in 1996 was 0.61.

Unlike most of the world’s poor countries, South Africa does not have a thriving informal economy. Only 15% of South African jobs are in the informal sector, compared with around half in Brazil and India and nearly three-quarters in Indonesia…”

Data from the World Bank outlines one of the main problems:

“High inequality is perpetuated by a legacy of exclusion and the nature of economic growth, which is not pro-poor and does not generate sufficient jobs. Inequality in wealth is even higher and intergenerational mobility is low meaning inequalities are passed down from generation to generation with little change over time.”

The preceding quotes will be important when it comes to looking at the latest round of violence. The inequality in South Africa is magnified by the Gemini Sun coupled with the midpoints just described. Further, the Sun rules the Ascendant, the latter ruling the various demographic groups in the nations, and showing the problematic nature of those relations in the case of South Africa. The Ascendant is also forms the midpoint, Asc=Sat/Plu: “Being placed in cumbersome and difficult circumstances. – Separation, mourning and bereavement.”

Races are ruled by the Ascendant. With the rising sign’s ruler in Gemini and with everything just described between the Sun and Ascendant, we see there is difficulty with race and demographic relations within South Africa. Wages are typically quite low for the non-white racial groups. Apartheid has officially ended, but the nation is still strongly segregated, largely along racial and economic lines. These points indicate the astrological basis for the recent rioting and looting. We need only make certain the chart working chart is valid before going on to present events.

As for proving the chart, the following were key events in South Africa’s history since independence. The charts are fairly self-explanatory, so we won’t go over them, but they are linked for reference:

  • The 1948 election, which was a turning point for the nation and marked the start of apartheid. Directed Saturn was on the natal MC. Directed Moon was on the natal Ceres. (chart) Transiting Uranus to natal Pluto. Opposite transiting Jupiter.
  • The release of Mandela from prison, which marked the end of apartheid. (chart) Prisons are shown by the 12th house, Pisces, Saturn and Neptune. Direct Saturn was to the natal Neptune, trined by transiting Pluto, with a direction of Venus to the natal Ascendant and nodal axis.
  • The adoption of the current constitution for the nation. (chart) Constitutions are ruled by Jupiter and the 9th house. Transiting Pluto was on the natal south node, squared the nation’s Horizon axis and directed MC, the latter conjunct the natal Ascendant, with all marking the end on an era and a change in the nature of government. The change in the constitution was marked by transiting Uranus squaring natal Venus, the latter ruling the 9th house.

These main events give us enough cause to proceed with looking at the events of today. The chart for the start of the riots and looting in South Africa is below (bigger):

There was quite a setup of Pluto on the start of the protests, on the 9th of July. Directed Pluto aspected the natal Ascendant, indicating a major event in the life of the nation. The directed Pluto in turn aspected the natal nodal axis, giving us Plu=Asc/Node: “The misfortune of having to live or to work together with others through an act of compulsion, strange or fated associations.” This had a rather surprising outcome, as we will see.

Next, the natal Pluto was squared by the directed Sun/MC conjunction, all in turn activated by transiting Saturn. The direction itself yields Plu=Sun/MC: “A violent attainment of one’s aims, the desire to attain leadership by the use of force. – The realization of extraordinary and unusual plans, a tragic destiny.” Combined with the Saturn transit, we have the need to make grave and/or difficult decisions, along with mob rule and the possible deaths of large numbers of people.

Next, there was a transit of the Sun to the natal Mars/Neptune conjunction, the latter representing the so-called ‘infection axis’, giving us Sun=Mars/Nep: “…The danger of infection, the undermining of the health, the dissolution of a body.” Transiting Pluto was on natal Uranus, which can be a violent and revolutionary influence. In the negative, which we saw, it can represent, “…Acts of violence, upsets, subversive activities, putting the gun to someone’s head, the enforcement of decisions,”

And lastly, there was a transit of Jupiter across the Moon/Chiron conjunction. One of the surprising outcomes of the violence was the formation of armed neighbourhood groups protecting their properties, shown both by the Jupiter transit (the Moon is the generic ruler of the public and property) and the Pluto/Ascendant/Node midpoint, described above.

Now, to the violence itself and what it will mean, there have been many reports. As stated at the start, the protests started when Zuma was jailed. His supporters called for his immediate release. Zuma is a Zulu, and the Zulu are primarily in the areas that were set alight and looted. They are a dominant faction in the ANC. There were reports the looting was coordinated,

“This clearly was a planned initiative as the looter vehicles, cars and trucks have their number plates removed or covered with black plastic bags, the movement of the mobs are coordinated so there are instructions coming from somewhere, the looting mobs are growing bigger in size and the reasonable communities are in fear. Yet overall the activity has reduced with fewer targets and towns lying in rack and ruin.”

The rioters were egged on by higher-ups in the Zuma faction of the ANC. But one important fact that stood out was the intelligence failure that allowed the protests and violence to escalate so rapidly. The security lapse points to the subversive aspect of the pervasive Pluto involvement in the event chart. From the article just linked:

“Between 31 May and 21 June, crucial months in the lead-up to the “attempted insurrection” that tore through KZN and Gauteng after the 8 July incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Mokgabudi, the head of the crucial SAPS Crime Intelligence (CI) Division, was absent from her post. It is not as if Mokgabudi was oblivious to the festering hotbed of factionalism she was being parachuted into by National Commissioner Khehla Sitole back in February 2021.”

We have yet to understand why this key figure was AWOL at the time of the riots, as no explanation has been given. Had the security apparatus been activated, the riots probably would not have risen to the extent they did. Khela Sitole himself was appointed to his post by Zuma in 2016. SAPS is the South African Police Service. The organization has been plagued by charges of corruption and misconduct – as in involvement in violent crimes – since its inception. And it was slow to respond to the rioting. It wasn’t until a week after the riots started that 25,000 army troops were sent in to quell the violence.

The fact that looting seemed to be coordinated and the chief SAPS officer was AWOL points to a planned event and a power grab, which Pluto also represents, aside from subversion. The ANC is now exhibiting pronounced divisions between party factions, with current president Ramaphosa and Zuma representative of the two most powerful factions within the party. Ramaphosa’s faction is gaining power and is investigating the corruption that took place under Zuma. Knowing that, we probably come to the heart of the matter, with the poverty and high unemployment being the kindling for the blaze. Zuma’s arrest was the match that started the blaze.

Jacob Zuma’s presidency, which ended in 2018 in his ouster, is called the ‘nine wasted years’, marked by massive corruption and cronyism, between the government and the private sector, to the tune of over 34 billion dollars. So, the situation is such that the law is closing in on the people involved in the corruption, with a former president in jail, and the people who benefitted under Zuma trying everything possible to avoid being investigated and possibly going to jail – even to the extent of tearing the society to pieces. One Zuma supporter was heard to say that if Zuma is not released, then they would make the nation ungovernable.

If the rule of law can be restored and the public can be reassured that even presidents can go to jail for corruption, then South Africa has a future. The events of the past weeks have given cause for national introspection as the affected regions set about rebuilding. This sort of introspection is very typical for strong Pluto activity in a chart, and it is also a mark of wisdom to do so. Otherwise, the actions of Pluto lead to an emotional cesspool of blaming and darkness in unconscious individuals and nations.

One of the brighter spots in the crisis were the citizen groups who banded together in solidarity to protect themselves and their neighbors. Even the taxi drivers were a part of that effort. And the solidarity went across racial and social divides, giving minority groups a sense that they are not alone, even though they face discrimination at the hands of the majority population.

South Africa faces many years of struggle to correct the decades of apartheid, inequality, tribalism and racism. Israelis should be paying close attention, given their apartheid state and what is to come afterward. There are lessons there for the United States, too, given racial issues there, cultural divisiveness and economic disparities, not to mention a heavily armed populace. If the citizen groups in South Africa’s violence are any indication of what could happen in the US, then the vested interests in the US should take the events in South Africa as a wake-up call.

Lastly, the question naturally arise as to whether or not more violence inad looting are on the cards for South Africa, The short answer is no. Mars has just transited over the natal Ascendant, activating the Pluto solar arc, but at the same time transiting Saturn is trine the natal Sun and will make its direct station trine the MC in mid-October. It will make that station in South Africa’s 6th house, highlighting services, including the security and police forces, and shoud bring a measure of healing and a greater sense of reality to the nation looking forward.

Given the Saturn station trine the natal Sun, we can also expect Jacob Zuma and some of his cronies to be spending a longer and some much needed vacation time in a secure facility – perhaps at Pollsmoor.

Featured pic from Reaction

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