Hundreds arrested in South Africa amid anti-government protests
Johannesburg, Mar 21 (EFE).- More than 550 people have been arrested in South Africa after taking part in protests organized by an opposition party to demand the resignation of president Cyril Ramaphosa, police reported on Tuesday.
National police spokesperson Brig. Athlenda Mathe said that those detained faced charges of public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting, among others.
At least 24,300 tires, which had been “strategically placed for acts of criminality,” were confiscated by security forces, Mathe added.
Thousands of people took to the streets across various cities in South Africa on Sunday, in anti-government protests called by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a radical left-wing group and the third force in South African politics, along with the Saftu federation of unions
The formations, who want to force Ramaphosa out, slated the demonstrations to protest high unemployment rates in the country, which despite continuing to drop in 2022 still remain at 32.7%.
Protestors are also highlighting the severe energy crisis in South African where continual rolling blackouts, known as load-shedding, are wreaking havoc on the economy.
State-owned Eskom cannot generate enough electricity to meet demand, amid rampant corruption and crime.
In July 2021, protests turned into violent rioting after former president Jacob Zuma (2009-2018) was found guilty of contempt of court for repeatedly refusing to testify in an investigation into alleged corruption during his tenure. A total of 354 people were reported dead.EFE