At least 72 dead in South Africa unrest after Zuma jailing - GulfToday

At least 72 dead in South Africa unrest after Zuma jailing


Disgruntled residents throw rocks as they confront police officers in Vosloorus, South Africa. AFP

Gulf Today Report

The death toll in South Africa violence rose to at least 72 people in five days, despite calls for calm from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Tuesday, 22 people were killed in the violence and looting in a departmental store, an official said.

Ramaphosa deployed troops in several parts of the country to quell the unrest.

"The total number of people who have lost their lives since the beginning of these protests ...has risen to 72," police said in a statement.

The riots began when former President Jacob Zuma was sentenced to prison last week.

Thousands have been arrested for rioting and looting that has raged on in poor areas.

Local media reported that a radio station was vandalised and equipment were stolen, forcing the station to off the air.

Police said mobs ransacked COVID-19 vaccination centres, while some shut their doors fearing violence.

This has led to the disruption of urgently needed inoculations.

Most deaths were reported from the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces after chaotic stampedes took place where thousands of people were stealing electric appliances, liquor and clothing from stores.  

Zuma serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court triggered the violence.

The former president refused to abide by the court orders to testify at a state-backed inquiry probing accusations of dishonesty and exploitation while he was in power between 2009-2018.

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