South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to the nation, said that this has not happened since 1991 and it is necessary to end the enmity between the tribes. The riots sparked the arrest and detention of former South African President Jacob Zuma.
The investigation believes that Zuma, being the first person of the state, was in corrupt relations with the Gupta family - industrialists and bankers of Indian origin. The ex-president, according to investigators, illegally embezzled budget money and allegedly built a personal residence on it. Zuma, on a summons, appeared at a meeting of the Commission on the Investigation of the State Seizure, which he himself had once created. She handled his case. The ex-head of state sat down, listened and left. For this behavior, the South African Constitutional Court sentenced Zuma to 15 months in prison. From this moment it all started.
Jacob Zuma's supporters have begun blocking roads in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. They demanded the soonest release of the politician and called on the population to join them. Demonstrations quickly escalated into riots that did not subside during the curfew, which runs from 9:00 pm to 04:00 am due to the coronavirus pandemic. Young people started burning cars on the roads, robbing shops, throwing stones and bottles at the police. Sometimes they opened fire on the guards. On July 10, riots spread to the province of Gauteng, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located.
Thus, political protests in South Africa escalated into bloody riots. Johannesburg is now on fire - marauders are forming groups and destroying large shopping centers.
Cities get stuck in huge traffic jams - residents on trucks, whole families line up in line to take out as many goods as possible. They take everything: from food to household appliances and even weapons.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, South Africa has gone through a series of lengthy and tough lockdowns, which included, among other things, a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. Another lockdown was introduced in South Africa at the end of June due to the spread of the Delta strain. At the same time, vaccination in the country is proceeding slowly: less than 7% of the population received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Due to the intensifying unrest and clashes with the police, the head of state ordered troops and heavy equipment to be sent to the rebel cities.
“The rule of law is the foundation of our society, and no one can break the law with impunity,” stressed President Ramaposa. "Every citizen of the country will be protected from violence, and everyone who has committed a crime will be found, arrested and brought to justice."
The President said that broad consultations had begun with leaders of parties and communities, religious leaders and business to stabilize the situation. Ramaposa called on the population to remain calm and refrain from violence. He also warned against spreading rumors and false information on social media, as well as engaging in incitement. “The country must return to normal life as soon as possible, and the authorities will do everything for this,” the head of state concluded.
In a conversation with a prominent scientist-Africanist, chief researcher of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Shubin , who had just returned from South Africa, " NI " found out that due to the lack of objective information from the scene in the world media there are a lot of inaccuracies and outright lies.
- Many publications report that South Africa today is on the verge of a civil war. And it is allegedly prepared by Afrikaners (descendants of colonists of Dutch , German and French origin), in revenge for the "black apartheid". Yes, in a number of provinces, clashes between criminals and the police continue. But there are no representatives of the white minority among them. In addition, the rioters have no political slogans. Attacks on the offices of the ruling African National Congress party have not been recorded anywhere in the country. - noted Shubin.
- The question is legitimate: did the mass demonstrations and pogroms arise spontaneously, or were certain forces behind the protest actions? In my opinion, the first African speeches could have been organized by the supporters of Jacob Zuma, who were more worried about their own safety, and not about the ex-president of the country. But the initial plans for a local protest, apparently, failed and went out into the vastness of the entire South Africa. The people in South Africa still live very poorly; in recent years, the gap between the rich and the poor has grown noticeably. Corruption is rampant in the country. So the limit has come to patience and people began to destroy everything in their path, - the expert believes.
The government, according to his information, from the very beginning did not want to send troops to the cities, then it was decided to send 2,500 soldiers into dangerous areas, and today, by presidential decree, there are already 25,000 servicemen guarding order throughout South Africa - said Vladimir Shubin.
According to the scientist's forecast, demonstrations in South Africa will gradually stop, the army and police will not allow vandals and hooligans to destroy shopping centers and schools. The government will most likely be forced to change its neo-liberal economic policy and urgently start vaccinating the population.