Looting, riots, criminality and violence continued for a second day in various places throughout South Africa. Having started mainly in KZN on Sunday, it spread into Gauteng, bringing businesses and society to a general halt.
Reportedly four police officers are receiving medical attention for injuries and at least six citizens were killed in the violence.
Tires burning on highways, stones and bricks being thrown at cars, extreme looting of various shopping malls and stores, and destruction of property made up the disturbing footage being forwarded shared on social media.
It started purportedly as a #ShutdownSA rally in protest against the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. A similar Cape Town protest is said to take place 13 July.
While Zuma supporters marched and aired their grievances, members of the general public seemed to jump at the opportunity to loot stores in order to get food and goods, while others simply joined the mobs taking part in the criminality, getting such luxury good as flat screen TVs.
This brought to the forefront discussion of unemployment, hunger and poverty, and government’s failure to stop rampant corruption and looting of South Africa’s funds and resources.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been blamed for South Africa’s severe economic challenges, during the riots President Cyril Ramaphosa did acknowledge that the country needs to deal with unemployment and inequality.
Makhosi Khoza, Chairperson of Action SA, KZN, made an impassioned plea to President Cyril Ramaphosa
“KZN is a war-zone” says Makhosi Khoza.
Members of the public posted scenes of looting and destruction to social media.
President Ramaphosa’s address to the nation
President Ramaphosa addressed the nation at 20:30 Monday evening calling for calm and for South Africans to come together. He reiterated that the South African National Defence Force was deployed to calm the situation and bring law and order.
His speech was largely described as ineffectual during a time when South Africans wanted to hear decisively what action would be taken.