© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A burnt out truck lies beside the street following protests linked by police to former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment, in Mooi River, South Africa, July 10, 2021. REUTERS/Siyabonga Sishi
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -Retailers have been looted in a single day and a piece of the M2 freeway was closed in Johannesburg on Sunday, as sporadic acts of violence following the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma unfold to the nation’s principal financial hub.
The unrest had primarily been concentrated in Zuma’s house province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the place he began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court docket on Wednesday night time.
Zuma’s sentencing and subsequent imprisonment have been seen as a check of the post-apartheid nation’s means to implement the regulation pretty — even towards highly effective politicians — 27 years after the African Nationwide Congress (ANC) ousted the white minority rulers to usher in democracy.
However his incarceration has angered Zuma’s supporters and uncovered rifts throughout the ANC.
Police mentioned criminals have been profiting from the anger to steal and trigger injury. Nationwide intelligence physique NatJOINTS warned that these inciting violence might face felony fees.
NatJOINTS mentioned in an announcement that 62 individuals had been arrested in KZN and Gauteng, the province the place Johannesburg is situated, because the violence started.
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Division (JMPD) mentioned there had been looting within the Alexandra township and Jeppestown suburb on Saturday night time. The M2 was closed off after there have been studies of photographs being fired at passing autos.
Protests have been ongoing within the Hillbrow neighbourhood on Sunday morning, JMPD spokesman Wayne Minnaar mentioned.
KZN police spokesman Jay Naicker mentioned there had additionally been extra looting in eThekwini, the municipality that features Durban. “We noticed quite a lot of criminals or opportunistic people making an attempt to counterpoint themselves throughout this era,” he mentioned.
Zuma was given the jail time period for defying an order from the constitutional court docket to provide proof at an inquiry that’s investigating high-level corruption throughout his 9 years in energy till 2018.
He denies there was widespread corruption underneath his management however has refused to cooperate with the inquiry, which was was arrange in his ultimate weeks in workplace.
Zuma has challenged his sentence within the constitutional court docket, partly on the grounds of his alleged frail well being and the danger of catching COVID-19. That problem might be heard on Monday.
Parliament’s presiding officers mentioned on Sunday that they have been “sympathetic to the private difficulties confronting former President Jacob Zuma. Nevertheless, the rule of regulation and supremacy of the structure should prevail”.
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