© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A burnt out truck lies beside the street following protests linked by police to former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment, in Mooi River, South Africa, July 10, 2021. REUTERS/Siyabonga Sishi
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -Retailers had been looted in a single day and a piece of the M2 freeway was closed in Johannesburg on Sunday, as sporadic acts of violence following the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma unfold to the nation’s most important financial hub.
The unrest had primarily been concentrated in Zuma’s house province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the place he began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court docket on Wednesday evening.
Zuma’s sentencing and subsequent imprisonment have been seen as a take a look at of the post-apartheid nation’s capability to implement the regulation pretty — even towards highly effective politicians — 27 years after the African Nationwide Congress (ANC) ousted the white minority rulers to usher in democracy.
However his incarceration has angered Zuma’s supporters and uncovered rifts inside the ANC.
Police stated criminals had been benefiting from the anger to steal and trigger harm. Nationwide intelligence physique NatJOINTS warned that these inciting violence may face felony fees.
NatJOINTS stated in a press release that 62 folks had been arrested in KZN and Gauteng, the province the place Johannesburg is situated, for the reason that violence started.
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Division (JMPD) stated there had been looting within the Alexandra township and Jeppestown suburb on Saturday evening. The M2 was closed off after there have been experiences of photographs being fired at passing autos.
Protests had been ongoing within the Hillbrow neighbourhood on Sunday morning, JMPD spokesman Wayne Minnaar stated.
KZN police spokesman Jay Naicker stated there had additionally been extra looting in eThekwini, the municipality that features Durban. “We noticed loads of criminals or opportunistic people attempting to complement themselves throughout this era,” he stated.
Zuma was given the jail time period for defying an order from the constitutional court docket to offer proof at an inquiry that’s investigating high-level corruption throughout his 9 years in energy till 2018.
He denies there was widespread corruption underneath his management however has refused to cooperate with the inquiry, which was was arrange in his last weeks in workplace.
Zuma has challenged his sentence within the constitutional court docket, partly on the grounds of his alleged frail well being and the chance of catching COVID-19. That problem shall be heard on Monday.
Parliament’s presiding officers stated on Sunday that they had been “sympathetic to the non-public difficulties confronting former President Jacob Zuma. Nonetheless, the rule of regulation and supremacy of the structure should prevail”.
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