Desmond Tutu’s life was one of struggle against injustice. The politicians who line up to laud him today are not fit to wipe his feet.
“A sense of relief” is how Sudanese political activist Muzan Alneel, speaking via Zoom from the capital, Khartoum, describes the mood on the streets of Sudan in the first hours of the coup on 25 October. “I remember seeing people come into the street singing, like they’re singing against the coup and they’re singing against [coup leader General] Burhan, but they’re singing”, she says.
The South African working class is being ravaged. Government figures record thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths per day from COVID-19. In late March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown to contain the virus. But as restrictions were eased on 1 May and again on 1 June, the case numbers began to soar. At almost 600,000 cases, the country now has the fifth-highest number of recorded infections in the world.
Tensions between the United States and China are escalating rapidly. The ongoing rift between the world’s two largest powers has intensified during the COVID-19 crisis, as both countries jostle for position in a rapidly changing political climate. There is a growing consensus among the US ruling elite for a hardline approach to China’s rapid rise. A new White House report outlining a more aggressive stance, which may prove to be the most significant foreign policy document since 9/11, has been co-signed by every relevant federal department.
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing its greatest crisis in generations. The continent thus far has been less affected by the pandemic than other parts of the world. But the impact of the global economic crisis is already enormous.