Looting in South Africa Leads to 45 Deaths As Country Spirals Out Of Control

Looting in South Africa Leads to 32 Dead As Country Spirals Out Of Control

(UnitedReader.com) – Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court on Thursday, July 8, 2021. A federal judge convicted him for refusing to comply with an order compelling his testimony as part of a state-backed investigation. That incident wasn’t the first time he ran afoul of the government. He has been the target of investigations looking into alleged corruption during his time as president from 2009 to 2018. As a result of his incarceration, riots have broken out, and the country has plunged into a state of chaos.

The Extent of the Rioting So Far

So far, 45 people have died in the chaos, many from being crushed and trampled while looting. Between the two provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, hundreds of people have been arrested as thousands participated in the lawlessness. As of July 13, the turmoil has stayed within these two provinces and has not spread to the other seven. Despite this, police remain on alert throughout South Africa.

Poverty Drives Social Unrest in South Africa

With an unemployment rate of 32%, more than half of the 60 million people in South Africa live in poverty. The pandemic has only compounded the problem, and people are starving and barely hanging onto some semblance of life.

David Makhura, Premier of the Gauteng province, said in an emotional statement that he understood the struggle people are currently experiencing. He added that the rioting only undermines security and the necessary infrastructure and services in the affected local areas.

Residents have reached out to community, religious and political leaders, asking them to challenge the people responsible for the rioting to stop.

South African Government Fights to Restore Peace

The South African government has deployed 2,500 troops as part of an effort to support the police and end the violence. Sadly, so far, they haven’t been able to restore peace to the affected provinces. Despite making more than 700 arrests, authorities have admitted that the situation is nowhere near under control. Law enforcement officials have arrested more than 100 people, including men, women, children, and senior citizens, in the township of Daveyton, just east of Johannesburg.

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, officials have identified 12 people for instigating the chaos. Authorities have taken to social media platforms to warn people not to encourage the ongoing destructive behavior.

Americans have experienced more social upheaval over the last 14+ months as Antifa members and Black Lives Matter activists rioted in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers. Slowly, but surely law enforcement officials have restored peace in most cities, although a few Democratic-led ones like Chicago continue experiencing problems. With any luck, South American officials can follow the example set by US law enforcement agencies and restore calm to a nation wracked by chaos and poverty.

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