Violent protests have been taking place in various areas of South Africa. It has been triggered by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma. He was sentenced last month for defying a constitutional court order to provide evidence for an investigation on high-level corruption during his nine years in office until 2018.
40+ people in South Africa have been killed during unrest since the jailing of ex-president Zuma. Police fired rubber bullets, arresting hundreds.
The unrest is linked to rising unemployment and poverty during COVID-19, which has worsened persistent post-apartheid inequalities. pic.twitter.com/gtZRn2luio
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 13, 2021
His supporters took to the streets last week in protest. However, the situation has escalated into an expression of dissatisfaction over poverty and inequality in the country. The economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions has exacerbated the problems.
Protesters clashed with police in several areas. Looting also took place in shopping malls on Tuesday owing to deep frustrations over poverty and inequality among the South African people. Shops, petrol stations and government buildings have been forced to close.
According to the Police Minister up to 30 people have been killed during the unrest, four have been in Gauteng and 26 in KwaZulu-Natal, as per state authorities. 757 people had been arrested so far. Police Minister Cele has said the government would act to prevent the unrest spreading further and warned citizens avoid making “a mockery of our democratic state”. Soldiers have been deployed to keep the unrest at bay, with troops moving into flashpoints.
South Africa’s economy is struggling to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions on businesses. There has been growing joblessness in the country as well, with unemployment at a new record high of 32.6% in the first three months of 2021.