South Africa Zuma Riots
People have begun rioting and looting in South Africa as a result of former President Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment.
The country’s military has been dispatched to places where police are outnumbered, despite the government’s confession that it had underestimated the scale of the protests.
About 2,500 soldiers were sent to the streets of KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province, and Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg, the country’s largest city.
Rioters and looters targeted shopping malls, businesses, and car dealerships, among other sites. At least 32 people have been killed as a result of the violence.
South Africa Zuma Riots: Why Was Jacob Zuma Jailed?
Jacob Zuma, 79, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for refusing to comply with a court order to testify in a corruption investigation while in government from 2009 to 2018. He eventually confessed and turned himself in.
Protests intensified after he filed a challenge to the sentence in South Africa’s Constitutional Court, which began hearings on Monday. His appeal is unlikely to succeed, according to legal experts.
Zuma’s imprisonment is the first time a former president has been imprisoned in post-apartheid South Africa.
It was hailed as a victory for President Cyril Ramaphosa, but each clash between authorities and Zuma’s supporters just adds fuel to the fire that he is the victim of a politically driven attack.
What is the extent of the unrest?
What started with a small protest in KwaZulu-Natal quickly spread across the provinces, with Zuma’s arrest serving as a spark for protests.
Over the past year and a half, Covid limitations have been imposed across South Africa, compounding frustrations over poverty, unemployment, and the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Many people perished as food, electric appliances, wine, and clothing were looted. Also several lives have been lost.
What has South Africa’s president said?
President Ramaphosa has labeled the violence as unprecedented in the 27 years since apartheid was abolished.
He urged for peace while denouncing the violence and promising to hold unlawful protestors accountable when he spoke to the nation over the weekend.
“What we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality, with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft,” he said.