Johannesburg, Jul 13 (EFE).- At least 32 people have been killed and 757 others detained in violent protests and looting that gripped South Africa for several days after the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, authorities reported on Tuesday.
Protests broke out on Friday against Zuma’s 15-month jail term for contempt of court but rapidly turned into a wave of massive looting and vandalism, leading to the deployment of 2,500 troops to quell the unrest.
Violence is mainly concentrated in Zuma’s eastern home province of KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng, which includes the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Authorities confirmed at a press conference that 26 of the victims died in KwaZulu-Natal, while the rest were recorded in Gauteng.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said that no discontent or personal circumstances give the right to anyone to loot, vandalize nor break the law.
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. Among the African countries, South Africa has been the hardest hit by the pandemic with 2.2 million infections and some 64,000 deaths.EFE