Residents loot items from a Cambridge Store in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, on July 12 2021. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Residents loot items from a Cambridge Store in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, on July 12 2021. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

The week after the most destructive and widespread civil unrest in the democratic era, SA's young democracy faces another test as the arms deal corruption trial of incarcerated former president Jacob Zuma kicks off in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The two issues are so deeply interlinked that the arms deal has largely come to define the last quarter century of democracy. Zuma for all his declarations of wanting his day in court, as we know, has done everything in his power to avoid the legal reckoning.

The arms deal is widely regarded as the original sin that provided the blueprint for large scale corruption and state capture and the forces at play between a break from this past and those that seek to entrench a rapacious political rent-seeking elite.

Michael Avery is joined by Professor Anthony Turton, a man whose career has traversed intelligence at an operational level, academia and business in the water sector, and former operations at the National Intelligence Service (SA);  Matlou Setati, executive with the Consumer Goods Council of SA; and Mike Schussler, chief economist at economists.co.za  as they continue to try to pick their way through this inflection point.

Michael Avery and his guests discuss the possible drivers behind last week's riots

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