The South African government is planning to deploy 25000 troops due to widespread looting and violence. The military deployment is to counter the riots that took place due to the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma.
72 people have died, and more than 1700 people have been arrested in South Africa. The country is in its worst form of unrest in years. Hundreds of shops and businesses have been vandalized. The government says this is an action to prevent the shortage of food.
Citizens are arming and foaming up vigilante groups to protect their property from the heavy rampage. More than 200 incidents of looting and vandalizing took place. The South African Government says that the number of troops doubled up to 5000.
Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa – Nqakula said that she had submitted a request for the deployment of 25000 soldiers. They will be in two provinces – KwaZulu- Natal and Gauteng.
The government is under pressure to put more boots on the ground to tackle the unrest. The warehouse and the shopping malls have been ransacked. They are all set to ablaze in various cities, especially in Durban.
Dulcy Rakumakoe runs a chain of medical centers in the province of Gutenberg. “We’ve started with the clean-up, but we can’t even think about the rebuild because we are not sure when the unrest will be done,” she said. “It’s still not safe to even go in and rebuild.”
Protests have begun in the last week after Zuma surrendered himself to the police. His supporters reacted furiously. They blocked the major roads and called for a shutdown to demand his release.
The protest also turned into a riot which is a very rare case in South Africa. Businesses have been petrol bombed in the various cities and towns across the Kwazulu-Natal.
The army said to report to their units on Thursday. The request took place after President Cyrill Ramaphosa warned the parts of the country which can run short of the basic provisions. The wreckage of the business came as the country is struggling with unemployment and covid related restrictions.
The private residents have armed themselves with shotguns and pistols, and other weapons to defend against the mobs who are looting. In some of the areas, the markets are fast running out of supplies.