On September 30 the New York Times reported that over the last several months at least three members of the African National Congress (ANC) who had spoken out against corruption in the political party had been murdered. 
Another ANC member who had spoken out against the corruption and who is now in hiding said, “if you understand the Cosa Nostra, you don’t only kill the person, but you also send a strong message.” He added, “We broke the rule of omertà,” saying that the party of Nelson Mandela had become like the Mafia.
Moreover, about 90 politicians have been killed since the start of 2016, more than twice the annual rate in the 16 years before that, according to researchers at the University of Cape Town and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime.
According to Mary de Haas, an expert on political killings who taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, “The politicians have become like a political mafia. It is the very antithesis of democracy, because people fear to speak out.”
In the meantime, South Africa’s economy is struggling. According to the Wall Street Journal, the “economy has plunged into recession, its rand currency has slid and pressure is mounting from a dissident faction within his ruling party [the ANC].” These problems are occurring “amid a selloff in emerging-market assets, rising oil prices and a historic [South African] drought that cut agriculture production.” The country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, ““The economy moved against us.…We were too slow with some reforms.” But “Now the reforms are coming fast and furious.”
 Onishi & Gebrekidan, Hit Men and Power: South Africa’s Leaders Are Killing One Another, N.Y. Times (Sept. 30, 2018).
 Parkinson, Steinhauser & Keeler, Economic Problems Exacerbate Challenges for South Africa’s Leader, W.S.J. (Sept. 26, 2018).