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South Africa: Protests And Unrest Grow Over Zuma Arrest

Published 1 year ago
By Yeshiel Panchia
Protestors barricade a road in Johannesburg, South Africa, 11 July 2021. Across the country, they embarked on demonstrations, sometimes violent, against the imprisonment of former South African President Jacob Zuma last week. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

For the last three days, since South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma began his jail term for contempt of court, the country has been mired in protests with pro-Zuma supporters voicing their displeasure. The demonstrations have centered around KwaZulu-Natal, the home province of the former president where he is incarcerated, with major highways barricaded by burning tires, over 30 trucks set alight and an estimated $7 million in damages.

Late last night, the protests spread into South Africa’s economic hub Gauteng and continued today, with at least one confirmed death and another two people reported shot. All major roads in Johannesburg CBD experienced some disruption, with many areas of the city looking like a warzone.

Some major roads such as Jules Street in the city saw multiple shops looted, with liquor stores particularly targeted as South Africa continues under a lockdown which includes a strict ban on the sale of alcohol. Dozens of car dealerships were burned to the ground with vehicles inside them.

The country continues under lockdown Level 4 until the 25th of July.

FORBES AFRICA is on the ground and will provide updates as the story progresses.

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