The government has finally deployed the army to stop the ongoing violence in South Africa. Riots have been taking place in many parts of South Africa since the beginning of the prison sentence of former President Jacob Zuma. Under the guise of this violence, some miscreants are targeting the Indian community living here. It is being described as the largest military deployment in South Africa since the end of the rule of white minorities in 1994. So far 72 people have died in the riots and violence that have been going on for the last one week while more than 1200 people have been arrested.
25 thousand soldiers took to the streets
The South African National Defense Force has deployed 25,000 soldiers to stop the violence. Apart from this, 12,000 Reserve Forces have also been deployed in different parts of the country. Trucks, armored vehicles and helicopters are being used to transport troops to the violence-hit Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. On Thursday, shopping centers were again attacked in Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, and several factories were vandalized and set ablaze.
Indian shops, businesses and homes were burnt
There are reports of arson and looting of Indians and South Africans of Indian origin in the midst of a violent atmosphere. According to eyewitnesses, shops, businesses and houses of Indians have been burnt. Petrol bombs have also been thrown at them. The business and car of the Indians have been set on fire. Indians are not able to compete with the rioters due to their small numbers.
Violence started after Jacob Zuma was sent to jail
President Ramaphosa also said in his address to the nation that opportunists are taking advantage of the situation and looting. He said that these incidents are criminal and not political or racial. The whole controversy started when Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court. After much controversy, Zuma surrendered and was sent to jail.
Traders demanded imposition of lockdown
The head of South Africa’s apex body of property owners (SAPOA) Neel Gopal has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to impose a complete lockdown to deal with the current situation, calling the ongoing looting and arson incidents in the country a sign of a coup attempt. Neel Gopal told news website Moneyweb that people are destroying mobile phone towers, destroying water bodies and attacking other infrastructure in the country, all of which are signs of a coup attempt. We should implement the complete lockdown of the fifth phase of Kovid-19 like last year to deal with the situation. The crime rate at that time was zero.
More than 800 shops and 100 shopping malls were burnt
SAPOA represents more than 800 organizations within the commercial property sector, with 90 percent of the nation’s commercial real estate owned by association members. According to SAPOA, more than 800 shops have been looted so far while around 100 shopping malls have been burnt or heavily damaged.
(with inputs from agencies)
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