Parts of Joburg gripped by violence reportedly linked to pro-Zuma protests
While shops were looted overnight in downtown Joburg, police in KwaZulu-Natal province said they were still dealing with sporadic incidents of looting and violence.
Crowds loot trucks in Wynberg and Alexandra during nighttime violence on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@crimeairnetwork
JOHANNESBURG – There have been reports of several sporadic incidents of violence, vandalism and looting of shops in some areas of central Johannesburg since Saturday night.
It remained unclear what sparked the demonstrations, but there are indications that they may be linked to the pro-Zuma protests.
Wayne Minnaar of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department said: “Maboneng has been affected by the violence. Anderson Street and Berea Road are closed to traffic, and the M2 motorway is still closed east and west due to a very tense situation where tires and rocks are still on the road. It is not safe for motorists to drive.”
OVERNIGHT PUBLIC VIOLENCE MAKES ITS MARKET: THIS IS JEWEL STR. JOBURG. general practitioner. BURN ENTIRE DEALERS. pic.twitter.com/JZey37Mhx1
REZA (@crimeairnetwork) July 11, 2021
At the same time, police in KwaZulu-Natal province have said they are still dealing with sporadic incidents of looting and nighttime violence in areas affected by the pro-Zuma protests.
Reports of protesters setting fire to tires and sporadic cases of looting from trucks on the N3 toll route.
Former President Jacob Zuma is serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court, and protesters are demanding his release.
Jay Naicker of the police said reinforcements have been sent to the worst affected areas.
“Police had to deal with a number of incidents late last night where roads were blocked and people tried to loot shops. The police responded to many of these incidents and were able to disperse the people, and we stayed alert all night.”
CALLS FOR REST AS COMPANIES, INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGED BY PROTEST VIOLENCE
There have been numerous calls for calm and restraint in the face of the pro-Zuma protests.
Protesters expressed anger at the detention of the former president.
Business Unity South Africa has called the violence abhorrent, irresponsible and illegal, while Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi issued a statement calling for final action by the state.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday called on protesters to stop the violence and stop damaging the economy.
ALSO READ: KZN protests – Ramaphosa calls for calm, condemns violence and damage to economy
Acting presidential spokesman Tyrone Seale said: “The protests cannot be used to break the law or to destroy property and threaten livelihoods. Criminal elements must be fought with the full power of the law. The President also endorses the call from Prime Minister of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala in his call for calm and for citizens to express themselves within the limits of the law.”
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