Zuma riots: Looting and unrest leaves 72 dead

 Zuma riots: Looting and unrest leaves 72 dead

South Africa braces for more violence after days of unrest

CAPE TOWN, 14 July: South Africa has been rocked by violence and looting for six consecutive days, with more than 70 people killed as grievances over the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma riots spiralled into the worst unrest in decades.

Following the jailing of the former leader, protests and mass looting have widened into an outpouring of anger over the inequality that remains 27 years after the end of apartheid.

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

More than 1,200 people have been arrested in the lawlessness that has raged in poor areas of two provinces, where a community radio station was ransacked and forced off the air on Tuesday and some COVID-19 vaccination centres were closed, disrupting urgently needed inoculations.

In zuma riots many of the deaths in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces occurred in chaotic stampedes as thousands of people stole food, electric appliances, liquor and clothing from stores, police said.

The deployment of 2,500 soldiers to support the overwhelmed South African police has so far failed to stop the rampant looting.

African Union chairman condemns surge of violence

The African Union Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has condemned “in the strongest terms” the widespread violence unfolding in South Africa, while extending his condolences to the families of those who were killed.

Mahamat also called for “an urgent restoration of order, peace and stability in the country in full respect to the rule of law,” read a statement published on Tuesday night.

The failure to do so, “can have grave impacts not only in the country but the region as a whole,” it added.

Web Desk

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