Violence spreads in South Africa after Jacob Zuma is imprisoned | Jacob Zuma News


Shops looted and roads blocked as protesters wielding sticks march through Johannesburg to denounce the imprisonment of the former South African president.

Violent riots broke out in two South African provinces following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, with supporters blocking roads and looting shops.

At least 62 people have been arrested, South African police said on Sunday.

Zuma began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court last week. The 79-year-old former president was jailed for defying a court order to testify at a state-backed inquiry examining corruption allegations during his tenure as president from 2009 to 2018.

His request to be released from the Estcourt Correctional Center was rejected by a regional court on Friday. He is expected to make another attempt on Monday before the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court.

Riots by Zuma supporters began in his hometown of KwaZulu-Natal province last week and spread over the weekend to Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, Africa’s largest city. South.

The remains of a burnt car and a sign block the road after protesters wielding sticks marched through the streets, as violence after the imprisonment of former South African President Jacob Zuma spills over to Johannesburg , the largest city in South Africa [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]
Police arrest protester amid rising violence after former South African President Jacob Zuma jailed [Sumaya Hisham/Reuters]

Several hundred people looted and set fire to shops in the Alexandra and Bramley neighborhoods of Johannesburg, according to a statement from Police General Mathapelo Peters.

The body of a 40-year-old man was found in a store that had been set on fire and police are investigating the circumstances, he said.

In addition, at least three police officers were injured while trying to stop looters and one was admitted to hospital, the statement said.

AFP news agency said the N3 motorway connecting Johannesburg and the coastal city of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal was blocked for many hours, including a section south of Estcourt prison, where is being held Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday reiterated calls for calm in a speech focused on COVID-19 restrictions, urging people to speak out “in peaceful protest” and to avoid acts that put lives at risk and harm the economy.

“People have been intimidated and threatened, and some have even been injured,” Ramaphosa said, adding that “some people may have died”.

But the looting continued until Sunday evening in the vicinity of Durban.

Police said they were increasing capacity in both provinces and warned Zuma supporters against inciting violence on social media, saying they could be held responsible for criminal prosecution.

Stores will remain closed in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng on Monday to prevent looting, district associations said.


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