The government of South Africa is deploying 25,000 troops to “help quell weeklong riots sparked by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma” amid reports that at least 117 people have been killed in the violence, according to ABC News.
“The government said 10,000 soldiers were on the streets by Thursday morning patrolling alongside police, and the South African National Defence Force had also called up all of its reserve force of 12,000 troops,” the outlet reported Friday, adding that convoys of soldiers have begun fanning out across “Gauteng province, South Africa’s most populous, which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria.”
Jacob Zuma, the country’s former president, was arrested last week on charges of corruption, but only after Zuma riled up supporters, demanding that they fight back against the current South African government.
As the Daily Wire reported earlier this week, Zuma, who considers himself to the left of the South African Communist Party, “faces 16 counts of fraud, money laundering, and racketeering for being part of a multibillion-dollar embezzlement scheme during his time as president,”
“The nation’s intelligence service is currently investigating the extent to which Zuma loyalists initiated the violence in KwaZulu-Natal Province, the greatest source of Zuma’s political strength. The leader of the ANC’s Youth League once proclaimed he was ‘willing to kill for Zuma,’” The Daily Wire’s report noted.
“In KwaZulu-Natal, it’s well-coordinated, well-funded. If you look at it, strategic commercial hubs were blocked, strategic roads were blocked at really key points. It was very organized,” one South African political expert told ABC News.
The riots are also likely the result of South Africa’s staggering economic woes — South Africans have a 33% unemployment rate, and 20% of South Africans live on less than $2 a day — which many residents blame on current South African President Cyril Ramphosa’s mismanagement.
Regardless, the riots are increasingly violent, and, at least report, 117 have been killed. Although authorities have been able to tamp down the unrest in select areas, there have been “renewed attacks on shopping centers and several factories and warehouses were smoldering after being hit by arson attacks,” according to ABC News.
“More than 2,200 people have been arrested for theft and vandalism and 117 people have died, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, acting minister in the presidency said Thursday,” the outlet noted. “Many were trampled to death in chaotic stampedes when shops were being looted, according to police.”
As Daily Wire reported, the rioting has had a detrimental effect on medical services, which were already stressed to begin with.
“Rioters stopped traffic on the highways and incinerated at least 30 trucks,” the Daily Wire noted. “Even medical providers were not spared. Gangs stoned ambulances, preventing them from caring for rioting victims and people suffering from everyday illnesses. A representative for the ambulance company said, ‘There is no access to medical treatment for these sick patients.’”
“Rioters proceeded to attack one another inside Johannesburg’s Hillbrow clinic while they were healing from their wounds, and a mob tried to attack the clinic itself,’” Daily Wire noted.
Shocking video of the riots inside shopping malls and medical clinics has surfaced on social media.
Zuma has appealed his case to South Africa’s Constitutional Court. Thus far, he has made no public statement rebuking the riots that began in his name.
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