Violence Spreads in South Africa Amid Zuma’s Jail: Live Updates

Violence Spreads in South Africa Amid Zuma’s Jail: Live Updates

Crowds clashed with police and ransacked or torched shopping malls in South Africa on Tuesday with dozens killed as grievances sparked by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma escalated into the worst violence since decades.
The protests following Zuma’s arrest last week have turned into looting and a wave of widespread anger at the inequalities that persist 27 years after the fall of apartheid.

Poverty has been exacerbated by severe social and economic restrictions aimed at blocking the spread of COVID-19.

Security officials said the government was working to stop the spread of violence and looting, which has so far spread from Zuma’s home in KwaZulu-Natal province to Gauteng province surrounding the region. largest city in the country, Johannesburg.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Monday evening that he was sending troops to help overwhelmed police to end the unrest and “restore order”.

Here are the latest updates:

South African farmers have been hit by days of unrest and looting as trucks carrying produce are prevented from delivering to markets, threatening the food supply, industry officials said.

“Farmers have already suffered significant losses because they cannot get their produce to local markets and stores,” said Christo van der Rheede, executive director of the country’s main agricultural body, AgriSA.

One of AgriSA’s farmers has previously reported losing 3 million rand ($ 205,333) of perishable produce that could not be transported, van der Rheede said.

South African National Defense Forces (SANDF) soldiers stand guard against a mob of looters at the Jabulani Mall in Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, July 13, 2021 [Emmanuel Croset/AFP]

No peace before the liberation of Zuma – foundation

Former President Jacob Zuma’s foundation said there would be no peace in South Africa until the former president was released from prison.

“Peace and stability in South Africa is directly linked to the release of President Zuma with immediate effect,” he said in a tweet.

“The violence could have been avoided. It started with the Constitutional Court’s decision to detain President Zuma… This is what angered the people, ”a spokesperson for the foundation separately told Reuters news agency.

Situation of misappropriation of “criminal elements” – Prime Minister of Guateng

Prime Minister David Makhura of Gauteng Province, which includes Johannesburg, said that “the criminal element has hijacked this situation.

“We understand that these unemployed people have insufficient food. We understand that the situation has been made worse by the pandemic, ”an emotional Makhura told the South African Broadcasting Corp.

“But this looting is undermining our businesses here (in Soweto). It undermines our economy, our community. It undermines everything. “

More than 400 people have been arrested in Gauteng, but the situation is far from under control, he said.

People throw stones at police as they attempt to loot the Letsoho shopping center in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, South Africa [Themba Hadebe/AP photo]

The presence of the troops makes the “difference”

Al Jazeera correspondent Fahmida Miller, reporting from Johannesburg, said the deployment of troops to the streets was now helping to quell protests.

“In the last two or three hours… the police had a hard time coping with what was going on and now that there have been soldiers here for an hour and a half there is a certain difference,” she said. declared.

“There are a few deserted streets and there is certainly hope that the presence of the military quells some of the riots that we have seen. “

South Africa says vaccine rollout, essential health care disrupted by unrest

The South African Department of Health said violent protests had disrupted the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and essential health services such as the collection of chronic drugs by patients with tuberculosis, HIV and diabetes.

The department said in a statement that it was temporarily closing some vaccination sites, adding that anyone with a scheduled vaccination in an area affected by ongoing unrest has been asked to postpone their vaccination.

A member of the South African police force tries to control looting during protests in Durban, South Africa [EPA]

Currency collapses amid violence

The South African rand, which had been one of the best performing currencies in emerging markets during the pandemic, fell to a three-month low on Tuesday, and local and hard currency bonds suffered.

40 dead in the unrest: the authorities

At least 45 people have been killed during the unrest so far, 19 in Gauteng and 26 in KwaZulu-Natal, according to state and provincial authorities.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has estimated the official death toll at 10.


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