On Tuesday, protesters clashed with security forces in several parts of South Africa. Robbers ransacked shopping malls. Dissatisfaction with poverty and inequality turned into the country’s worst unrest in years, with the death toll rising to more than 30. .
The governor of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, told the media on Tuesday morning that many deaths occurred in the chaotic stampede as dozens of people robbed food and electrical appliances from retail centers. , Wine and clothes.
“Yesterday’s incident brought a lot of grief. There were 26 deaths in KwaZulu-Natal alone. Many of them died in the stampede. People were trampled on during the looting,” Zikalala said.
On Monday night, the governor of Gauteng, David Makhura, said that as the robbery in Gauteng continued, the bodies of 10 people were found after a stampede in the Soweto shopping mall.
Security officials said the government is working to ensure that violence and robbery will not spread further, but they have not declared a state of emergency.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said at a press conference: “Any misfortune or personal situation of our people does not give anyone the right to plunder, destroy, do whatever they want and violate the law.”
Violence is Triggered by imprisonment Supporters of former President Jacob Zuma took to the streets last week, but this situation has turned into anger at the continued poverty and inequality in South Africa 27 years after apartheid ended.
The economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions has exacerbated these problems.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that he was send troops Help overwhelmed police to stop the riots and “restoring order.”
On Tuesday, in Zuma’s hometown of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where the country’s largest city, Johannesburg is located, the large numbers of police seemed powerless and unable to stop attacks and robberies on businesses, so the troops Entering a flashpoint. A column of armored personnel carriers rolled off the highway.
Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller in Johannesburg reported that the robbery and riots continued throughout the night and morning.
“The police are working hard to control the situation. Even with the presence of the police, the robbers tried to enter shops and stores,” Miller said.
“We have also seen the crowd start to become hostile to the police and throw stones at them. The police are using rubber bullets and tear gas to try to disperse them,” Miller added.
We saw continued robbery in Alexandra, Johannesburg. The police have now left this particular street, and the crowd is increasing. Earlier, the police fired rubber bullets and people responded by throwing stones.Many buildings were burned down @AJEnglish #South Africa pic.twitter.com/4h9Kay9YTP
-Fahmida Miller (@FahmidaMiller) July 13, 2021
Shops, gas stations and government buildings were forced to close. The video showed that the looters took away everything from beer and food to household appliances, and at least one shopping center was completely destroyed.
Reuters said there was no police visibility in areas where some shops in the coastal city of Durban were ransacked. In a shopping mall in Soweto, Johannesburg, the police and army are patrolling, and the owner is assessing the damage.
Saylor said that so far, 757 people have been arrested. He said that the government will take action to prevent the violence from spreading further, and warned that people will not be allowed to “ridicule our democracies.”
Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapissa-Nkakula said at the same press conference that she believes that a state of emergency should not be implemented at this time.
The 79-year-old Zu Ma was sentenced to a monthly sentence for violating a constitutional court order. During the nine years from his tenure to 2018, he provided evidence in an investigation into high-level corruption.
The decision to imprison him stemmed from legal proceedings and was seen as a test of South Africa’s ability to enforce the rule of law after apartheid, including confronting powerful politicians.
But any confrontation with the soldiers could exacerbate the accusations that Zuma and his supporters were the victims of politically motivated suppression by his successor Ramaphosa.
As Zuma challenged his 15-month imprisonment in the Supreme Court of South Africa on Monday, the violence worsened. The judgment was kept until an unspecified date.
However, with the end of white minority rule in 1994 and the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa’s first free democratic vote, the deteriorating situation showed broader problems and unfulfilled expectations.
The economy is struggling to escape the devastation caused by Africa’s worst COVID-19 pandemic, forcing it to repeatedly impose restrictions on businesses that damage an already fragile recovery.
This crisis may widen the gap between the rich and the poor. The increasing unemployment has made people even more desperate. The unemployment rate in the first three months of 2021 hit a record high of 32.6%.
But in a speech on Monday night, Ramaphosa said: “What we are witnessing now is opportunistic crime, where a group of people incites chaos only as a cover for robbery and theft.”