South Africa Riots: Deaths Rise After Jacob Zuma’s Arrest

At least 72 people died in South Africa after violence escalated in some parts of the country over former President Jacob Zuma’s jailing.

The death toll includes ten people who were killed in a stampede during the looting of a shopping center in Soweto on Monday night.

Footage shared on social media showed a woman throwing a baby at a group of people from a burning building in Durban after its ground-floor shops were looted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described the situation as one of the worst violence that South Africa has faced since the 1990s, before the end of apartheid.

Meanwhile, ministers warned that areas facing violence could soon run out of basic foodstuffs if looting continues.

In an official statement, South African police said they had arrested 1,234 civilians and identified 12 people suspected of causing the riots.

The army was ordered to deploy to help the police control the rallies.

However, authorities have ruled out declaring a state of emergency.

According to the Bloomberg news agency, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busisiwe Mavuso said that over 200 shopping malls were looted on Monday afternoon.

Several shopping malls in Soweto, the country’s largest township, have been completely looted.

ATMs, stores selling alcohol, restaurants, and clothing stores have all been left in tatters.

Soldiers assisting the police were reported to have caught and arrested nearly 800 rioters.

Nonetheless, security officers continue to be outnumbered, Busisiwe Mavuso added.

According to South Africa’s TimesLive news site, in KwaZulu-Natal, riots continue, livestock has been stolen, and rioters have attacked ambulances in some areas.

Videos posted on social media showed that a blood bank in Durban was looted on Monday night as Ramaphosa addressed the nation.

Riots began after Zuma’s arrest was announced.

The 79-year-old man was found guilty of contempt of court last month after failing to attend an investigation into his case.

He has been charged with corruption, which he denies, and was sentenced to 15 months in jail after handed himself to the police on Wednesday.

However, el Police Minister Bheki Cele said that “no amount of unhappiness or personal circumstances from our people gives the right to anyone to loot, vandalize and do as they please and break the law”.