10 dead in South Africa riots over jailing of ex-leader Zuma – News Vibe24

    10 dead in South Africa riots over jailing of ex-leader Zuma - Times of India
    Johannesburg: Riots sparked by the imprisonment of former South African President Jacob Zuma escalated on Monday as shopping malls in Johannesburg were looted, major roads were blocked by burning tires and police and army rallied.
    President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a grim speech broadcast nationwide Monday night, vowed that police and the army would restore order and called on all South Africans to work together for peace.
    The unrest began last week in KwaZulu-Natal province after Zuma jail for contempt of court. What began as a fairly small-scale roadblock in the Zuma area has intensified and spread to Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, including Johannesburg, the country’s largest city.
    The South African National Defense Force has been deployed to assist the police.
    At least 10 people have been killed and more than 490 arrested “in acts of public violence rarely seen in the history of our democracy,” Ramafasa said.
    Without ever referring to Zuma, Ramaphosa said that “violence can indeed have its roots in the statements and activities of people for political purposes, and in expressions of frustration and anger … However, what we are seeing now are opportunistic acts of crime. , with groups of people causing chaos simply as a cover for looting and theft. ”
    He said the main cause of the unrest was South Africa’s high poverty and unemployment rate.
    “Right now it’s completely relieved of what we already knew: that the level of unemployment, poverty and inequality in our society is not sustainable,” Ramaphosa said. “We cannot expect lasting and lasting peace if we do not create jobs and build a fairer and more just society in which all South Africans can participate freely and equally.”
    He urged all South Africans to refrain from violence.
    “Together, we will defeat those who seek to destabilize our country,” he said. “We will stand as a people, united against violence, unanimous in our commitment to peace and the rule of law.”
    Earlier Monday, retail mall looting took place in many of Johannesburg’s poorest areas, including Benmore, Jeppestown, Vosloorus and Soweto, where Jabulani and Dobsonville malls were hit.
    Retail stores in Alexandra, east of Johannesburg, were also affected, and journalists covering the riots for the public South African broadcaster and news channel Newzroom Afrika were robbed of their equipment.
    Several malls, car dealerships and retail outlets in the more affluent areas of Johannesburg, including Rosebank and Kempton Park in East Johannesburg, closed early, although they were not immediately threatened.
    At KwaZulu-Natal, people picked up appliances such as microwave ovens, TVs and clothes from shops in the Mariannhill and Umlazi areas.
    The violence began last week when Zuma began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. He was defying a court order to file before a state investigation investigating allegations of corruption during his term from 2009 to 2018.
    The country’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, began hearing Zuma’s appeal on Monday.
    Police are investigating the deaths – four in Gauteng and two in KwaZulu-Natal, said Police Colonel Brenda Marindili. Police and national security forces have expanded their presence in both provinces to help reduce violence, authorities said.
    Police have warned that anyone who uses social media to encourage riots could be arrested and prosecuted.
    The way in which the political protest against Zuma’s imprisonment turned into wider riots and looting underscores South Africa’s widespread poverty, unemployment and economic inequality, analysts said.
    Many of the troublemakers were simply poor, said Susan Booysen, director of research at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection.
    “It’s such a mixed bag because some other people are just taking advantage of it so they can grab things they could not have before,” Booysen said.
    “There is poverty and inequality. We also know that some are criminals who want to take advantage. They often take legal action to that end,” he said.
    Ralph Mathekga, a researcher at the University of Western Cape, agreed that the political demonstration was over.
    “South Africa is a very complex nation and (when) there is protest action, there is no doubt that it will be used occasionally by criminals,” Mathekga told News24.
    “We have to recognize the socio-economic situation of the country. Almost the majority of the country is unemployed,” Mathekga said. “Protest action in South Africa, without any form of crime, is very rare.”

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