There are violent riots in favor of former President Jacob Zuma in South Africa and rioting has broken out. Rioters oppose Zuma being sent to jail for contempt of court.
Violence has erupted in South Africa in support of former President Jacob Zuma. These rioters are protesting against sending Zuma to prison for contempt of court. Seeing the situation spiraling out of control, the South African army deployed large numbers of troops to two provinces including the city of Johannesburg. The riots come at a time when the Supreme Court has started hearing a petition challenging Zuma’s 15-month prison sentence.
Police said so far 6 people have died in the violence and more than 200 people have been arrested. Given the climate of violence everywhere, the army was deployed to the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to prevent riots. KwaZulu-Natal is Zuma’s home province. Zuma was President of South Africa from 2009 to 2018. Zuma is currently being held at Estcourt Correctional Center in a contempt of court case after failing to appear before a judicial commission investigating allegations of corruption during of its mandate.
Violent mob of rioters burned vehicles
Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison, after which he submitted his arrest to the police on Wednesday. The 79-year-old leader, however, denied the corruption charges. After Zuma’s arrest, his supporters sparked violent protests across the country. They blocked the roads by burning tires and setting up other roadblocks. Violent mobs of rioters torched vehicles and looted shops.
SANDF said in a statement that it carried out the deployment following a request for assistance from law enforcement. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned in recent days the violent protests in economically important provinces against the conviction of former President Jacob Zuma. “Critical infrastructure such as national highways have been affected and our economy has been affected by the slowdown in the flow of goods and services,” Ramaphosa said.
There is also a possibility of rapid spread of Kovid-19 by rioters
Some political and civilian leaders condemned the violence and called it a criminal act under the guise of a demonstration. He said there is a right to protest, but it must be done in a peaceful manner. The South African Chamber of Commerce has warned that this could cause a major setback to the country’s economy. There are also fears of a rapid spread of Kovid-19 by rioters, as most protesters do not wear masks.