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South Africa

Violence and looting intensifies in Gauteng, KZN

───   14:30 Mon, 12 Jul 2021

Violence and looting intensifies in Gauteng, KZN | News Article

Buildings were set on fire and hundreds of shops and malls, including properties, are being looted on Monday as unrest sparked by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma last week continued for a fourth day.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has condemned the ongoing looting of businesses, damage to property and intimidation of people under the so-called “Zuma protests”.

SACCI has denounced the actions of some community members in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng as pure criminality.

“What we are witnessing now is pure looting and criminality and has called for peaceful protests. The business organisation is calling on political and community leaders to refrain from utterances that are fuelling the situation.”

The chamber of commerce and industry says the ongoing protests will have a huge impact on the image of South Africa as an investment destination. It will also have a negative impact on the economy, which is already struggling.

This will further add to unemployment and delay the country’s reconstruction and recovery plan.

KwaZulu-Natal was hit hard by protests over the weekend, and on Monday flames could be seen coming from the roof of a shopping centre in Pietermaritzburg as hordes of people rushed in to loot.

Police said some sections of the M2 in Johannesburg had been closed because of the protests.

Dozens of cars were torched over the weekend in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal and police said 219 people have been arrested so far.

President Cyril Ramaphosa urged "peaceful protest" during a speech on Sunday.

"While there are those who may be hurt and angry at this moment, there can never be any justification for such violent, destructive and disruptive actions," he said.

One body has been found amidst looting chaos in Vosloorus, Gauteng.

Police say they're investigating the deaths of at least six people since the protests and looting broke out.


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