Rioting and looting continue in South Africa: 32 dies

Rioting and looting continue in South Africa: 32 dies.

Unrest in South Africa continued on Tuesday, with the death toll rising to 32 as police and military fight to quell looting and violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

Many of the deaths occurred in chaotic stampedes as dozens of people looted food, appliances, liquor, and clothing from retail centers, KwaZulu-Natal Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala told reporters on Tuesday morning.

“The events of yesterday brought a lot of sadness. The number of people who have died in KwaZulu-Natal alone stands at 26. Many of them died from being trampled during a stampede while people looted items, ”Zikalala said.

In Gauteng, the most populous province in South Africa that includes the largest city, Johannesburg, six people have died, authorities said.

Subway police target people who participated in a protest at a shopping mall in Soweto, near Johannesburg, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (AP)

The deployment of 2,500 soldiers to support the South African police has yet to stop the rampant looting, although arrests are taking place in some areas of Johannesburg, including Vosloorus in eastern Johannesburg.

Looting continued Tuesday at Johannesburg shopping malls in areas of the municipality, including the Jabulani Mall and the Dobsonville Mall in Soweto. There were also reports of continued looting at centers in KwaZulu-Natal.

The violence began in KwaZulu-Natal last week as protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, who began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. He was convicted of defying a court order to testify before a state-backed investigation investigating allegations of corruption during his tenure as president from 2009 to 2018.

A police officer watches over looting suspects arrested at a shopping center in Soweto, near Johannesburg, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, as looting and violence continue. (AP)

The sporadic violence in favor of Zuma turned into a wave of criminal robberies in poor urban areas of the two provinces, according to witnesses. So far, the anarchy has not spread to the other nine provinces of South Africa.

The Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, heard Zuma’s request for his sentence to be vacated on Monday. Zuma’s attorney presented his arguments that the superior court made mistakes in sentencing Zuma to prison. After 10 hours of testimony Monday, court judges said they would study the arguments and announce their decision at a later date.

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