Looting has become an increasingly popular concept in South Africa as an unsophisticated interpretation of ownership by “force” of property during periods of mayhem. However, looting is a complex concept whose origin spans a long history that cuts across time and space. In The Afrocentricity Trajectories of Looting in South Africa, edited by Mfundo Masuku, Dalifa Ngobese, Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe, and Sifiso Ndlovu, contributors provide sophisticated analysis on the concept of “looting” and address nuances in the concept of looting, looking at links to spiraling inequality and poverty, racialization of property ownership, and skewed access and benefits of economic policies. As shown in this collection, looting has taken on a variety of political meanings: a challenge to the violence of racial capitalism, an alternative and accelerated path to justice, and a way to call attention to the reality of racial violence that is often ignored by the media, to name a few. This volume provides a critical analysis of looting from a multi-disciplinary approach that focuses on a combination of themes to show that looting is deeply rooted in property “ownership” and spiraling poverty and inequality that is structural in nature.
Mfundo Mandla Masuku is associate professor of built environment and development studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Dalifa Ngobese is senior lecturer of culture and heritage studies and program leader at the University of Mpumalanga.
Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe is professor of inclusive education at the University of South Africa.
Sifiso Ndlovu is lecturer of political science at the University of Mpumalanga.
Chapter 1: Alooter Continua! : Tracing Historical Trajectories of Looting from Pre-colonial, Colonial and Postcolonial in South Africa
Chapter 2: Looting of Indigenous Knowledge Systems through Patents and Intellectual
Dina Mokgadi Mashiyane
Chapter 3: The Nexus of Land Dispossession and Food Insecurity in Contemporary South Africa: The Vicarious Consequences of Land Looting Institutionalized through the Natives Land Act 27
Mfundo Mandla Masuku, Mbongeni Shadrack Sithole and Bhekani Ngwenya
Chapter 4: Criminalising Looting and the Quest for Social Justice in Post-colonial South Africa: Perspectives from Twitter data
Kemist Shumba, Kutenda Trinos and Nirmala, D. Gopal
Chapter 5: Unemployment as an Instigator of Looting
Tawanda Majoko and Annah Dudu
Chapter 6: An Appraisal of South Africa’s July Civil Unrest through the Lens of Frustration-Aggression Theory: The Case of KwaZulu-Natal Province
Chapter 7: Looting and Unrest after Former President Zuma’s Incarceration: Politics of Belonging and Entitlement to Property Ownership in South Africa
Chapter 8: A Critical Reflection on Inequalities and Poverty as an Instigator of Looting in South Africa
Mfaniseni Wiseman Mbatha, Mandla A. Mubecua, Victor H. Mlambo and Philangani Sibiya
Chapter 9: Ubuntu Philosophy: Understanding Inequalities, Poverty as an Instigator to Looting
Chapter 10: The Looting Culture and its Value in the Transformation of Higher Education
Primrose T. Sabela
Chapter 11: Looting, Wealth, Security, and Prestige: Detailed Modern Schemes for Education Oppression and Exclusion
Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe
Chapter 12: The Impact of Looting in the South African Tourism Sector
Lombuso Precious Shabalala
"This book is informed about the ground-breaking issues which the majority of contemporary South Africans would like to hear. This much-sought information may give some of the answers to the questions that many South Africans want to know. It is my honest pleasure to articulate that this is one long-overdue book."
"This book is historically significant. It cannot be read outside the biggest and economically devastating 2021 July social unrest that took place since the founding of democracy in South Africa. At the time, media houses out-competed each other in showing massive looting that took place. Discerning coverage focused however on the root causes. For a country that had become a poster child of global inequality, rife with racial tension, communal mistrust, injustice, and corruption, this was a disaster waiting to happen. Unlike many descriptors that characterize looting as mere petty theft of and ransacking of goods, as was seen in the unrest, this book goes deeper by locating South Africa’s challenge to its colonial past. It is in this past that a grotesque form of looting took place in the form of land grab, slavery, and the uprooting of African communities, the continuing spiriting away of Africa’s minerals and precious minerals. To that extent, this book should serve as a shock therapy that should galvanize us to seek deeper and more sustainable solutions to the continental challenges of our time."