South African police said that 72 people have already been killed. More than 1,200 people have been jailed due to the unrest that happened by the imprisonment of ex-President Jacob Zuma. On July 13, police Maj. Gen, Mathapelo Peters said that stampedes during the looting of shops caused the majority of the deaths. The police are trying their best to control the chaos happening by the looters, and the soldiers have joined the police to quell the violence. Reports say police were utilizing tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowd.
The arrest of Zuma for contempt of court has sparked the mayhem. It started in his home province named KwaZulu-Natal, but soon, it turned into opportunistic riots and looting. The protestors blocked the roads and set the vehicles alight. The former President was imprisoned on the constitutional court’s orders of South Africa. The court found him guilty as he refused to answer corruption claims in front of the inquiry commission.
Zuma denies all of his wrongdoings and also appealed to the court to review his sentence. Meanwhile, the violence after his arrest exposed tensions with the African National Congress party that Zuma used to lead. Most of the deaths happened in the chaotic stampedes as a large number of people looted food, liquor, electric appliances, and clothing. Sihle Zikalala, the KwaZulu-Natal premier, said that the events brought sadness, and the numerous people who died in KwaZulu-Natal alone are around 26. People died from being trampled during the stampede when people looted items.
Death Due to Looting and Riots
In the most populous province, Gauteng of South Africa, at least six people deaths have been reported, said the officials on July 13. But the report was before another ten dead bodies were discovered in the Johannesburg of Soweto. There was the deployment of around 2500 soldiers for supporting the police of South Africa who were trying to stop the rampant looting on July 13. Several people got arrested in many areas in Johannesburg.
The pro-Zuma violence turned into a spree of theft in the poor two provinces’ township areas. This lawlessness had not spread across the other nine provinces of South Africa. The Constitutional Court heard the application of Zuma to have his sentence revoked. Zuma’s lawyer put forward arguments that the court made errors while sentencing the imprisonment of Zuma. The court judges said that they would study the given arguments and will announce their decision later.