South Africa unrest death toll soars 276
Published: 10:29 AM, 22 July 2021 Updated: 05:01 PM, 22 July 2021
A member of a hazardous waste cleanup crew walks to clean up a warehouse which was burned during days of looting following the imprisonment of former South African President Jacob Zuma, in Durban, South Africa, July 17, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Rogan Ward/File Photo
The death toll from the ongoing protests, violence and looting in South Africa has climbed to 276. The protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma have already escalated into violence.
Reuters reported the information, citing a South African minister. The report also said the country’s police are “investigating” the killing of 168 people in the violence.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, acting minister in the presidency, told a news conference there were now 234 deaths linked to the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and 42 in Gauteng.
Protests quickly turned violent after the arrest of former South African President Jacob Zuma. Shoplifting, as well as vandalism, began. Many places were set on fire. There was outrage over Zuma’s arrest, which was later added by the loss of jobs in the lockdown and the high price of food products.
The ongoing violence that took place includes arson, highway blockades, and looting of businesses and warehouses. The violence escalated especially in Jacob Zuma’s own province, from the main cities of KwaZulu-Natal to the small towns.
Mxolisi Kaunda, a mayor of the KwaZulu-Natal province, said at least 800 shops had been looted in KwaZulu-Natal since the fights and violence began. The value of the looted goods is about $1 billion.
Meanwhile, claiming the violence was “premeditated”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a recent interview that it was “clear” that people had been “incited” to looting and violence. The perpetrators of this planned violence as well as aided in looting.