South Africa is witnessing a deadly unrest and instability due to violent protests that have been erupted across the nation since 9 July, after ex-President Jacob Zuma started serving 15 months in jail over contempt of court.
Zuma, a veteran of the struggle against white minority rule, served as South Africa’s president from 2009 to 2018. He resigned from power under growing pressure from his party, the African National Congress (ANC), amid declining electoral support and public anger at corruption allegations during his time in office.
On June 29, the constitutional court sentenced Zuma to 15 months in jail for defying the court order.
The protest triggered wider rioting and looting, fuelled by joblessness, poverty, economic inequality, and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.
The corruption trial of South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma sparked days of deadly unrests and looting across the country.
More than 200 people were killed, and hundreds were arrested.
Most of the protesters are those affected by poverty and unemployment.
The situation is worsened during the pandemic, an official told the media.
Trucks carrying essential goods were set alight, and a national highway was blockaded .
The protest shifted to looting, targeting supermarkets and small businesses in the city’s center.
On Monday, viral footages on YouTube and social media and the national television showed hundreds of looters running into shopping malls, carrying groceries, clothing, and appliances out of shops.
Few protesters were heard mentioning Zuma’s name. Police watched helplessly hungry protesters robbing food and goods from stores.
More than 75 percent of young South Africans are unemployed. This would be cause for a revolution, according to one South African economist.
A third wave of COVID-19 infections hit the country. South Africans, particularly young Black South Africans with Low-skilled jobs are more affected by lockdown measures.