Six individuals have been killed and 219 arrested amid an escalation of rioting in Johannesburg which broke out after the imprisonment of South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma.
Retailers and companies have been looted and vandalised and burning autos and particles left throughout roads.
The violence was triggered final week when Zuma started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court docket.
The 79-year-old had defied a court docket order to testify earlier than a state-backed inquiry probing allegations of corruption throughout his time period as president from 2009 to 2018.
The Constitutional Court docket, the nation’s highest court docket, is because of hear Zuma’s enchantment in opposition to the sentence on Monday.
The rioting by Zuma’s supporters began in his residence area of KwaZulu-Natal province final week and over the weekend it unfold to Gauteng province, which incorporates Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest metropolis.
Sky Information Africa correspondent John Sparks, who’s in Johannesburg, stated it has been “a dramatic day – a tumultuous day” in lots of South African cities.
“The police have been concerned in operating skirmishes with residents, protesters and felony components, who’ve principally gone via the central enterprise district and ransacked it. They’re significantly outnumbered by the individuals,” he stated.
“They’re utilizing rubber bullets to attempt to drive them again. The individuals disperse quickly, after which they regather, and so they come again and start to loot once more. Retailers and companies are completed – there’s nothing left right here.”
Sparks stated scenes like this had not been seen in South Africa for a few years.
“This has been induced partially – or not less than triggered – by the arrest of Jacob Zuma, the previous president who ran this nation for 10 years,” he stated.
“Ultimately he was arrested on Thursday and that has triggered protests all around the nation.
“Members of his household have come out and publicly supported the violence on Twitter. I do not assume you possibly can describe this violence as protests – it actually has became looting and criminality.
“Police are outnumbered right here… basically, the police cannot deal with this. It is an excessive amount of for them.”
As he watched the occasions unfold on the streets of Johannesburg, he described a shopping center which had been “invaded” and “every part stripped” from its premises, together with money machines and “something of worth”.
He added: “Now we have seen three days of protesting, of rioting, of common lawlessness in a number of the largest cities in South Africa.
“What the police have been making an attempt to do is restore a way of order within the central enterprise district, however they’re utterly overwhelmed.
“They’ve been utilizing rubber bullets to drive individuals again, however as quickly as they achieve this, individuals come ahead once more.
“Now we have now heard that the South African army might be deployed on the streets and, frankly, this form of scene has been replicated in cities and cities all around the nation.”