(Update 1: Upgrades death toll, adds detail, new headline)
Johannesburg, Jul 13 (EFE).- Dozens have been killed in South Africa after protests against the recent imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma descended into violent riots and looting.
The demonstrations against Zuma’s 15-month jail term for contempt of court began on Friday but rapidly turned into a wave of massive looting and vandalism over the weekend, leading to the deployment of 2,500 troops to quell the unrest.
The flare-ups of violence are concentrated in Zuma’s eastern home province of KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng, which includes the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg.
At least 45 people have been killed so far in the unrest — 26 in KwaZulu-Natal and 19 in Gauteng — and over 750 arrests have been made, according to the respective local authorities on Tuesday.
The toll included 10 people who were trampled to death at a commercial center in Soweto.
On Monday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote on Twitter that the “path of violence, of looting and anarchy, leads only to more violence and devastation. It leads to more poverty, more unemployment, and more loss of innocent life.”
The bloody riots come as the country is facing a devastating third wave of coronavirus infections.
South Africa has been the hardest hit on the continent by the pandemic, with 2.2 million infections and some 64,000 deaths.EFE