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South African protest: More than 70 killed in violence after former President Jacob Zuma jailed

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Protests erupted last week as well former President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, 79, surrendered to authorities to serve a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court. He had refused to appear before an anti-corruption commission to face several charges, including bribery and fraud, which he has consistently denied.

Among those killed in the violence were 10 who died at a stamped in the city of Soweto, Police Department spokesman Lirandzu Themba told CNN. More than 1,200 others have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal – where Zuma is from – and Gauteng.

CNN on Tuesday visited Soweto, where a shopping mall had been looted. The shop owner in Soweto, Rahman, who did not give his last name, said he fears he has lost everything.

“Even now where I will stay, what I will eat, what I will do – we know nothing. In fact, we lose everything,” he told CNN.

“Summer is very painful and I do not know what to say about it. This is not our fault. I do not know what happened to the government. We do not know but this is not our fault. We did not do it. “We do nothing. “We just lose like that.”

Protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma are the most violent the country has seen in years.

Soldiers patrolled the streets of Johannesburg with armored personnel carriers on Tuesday, holding rifles with live ammunition as the military worked to gain a sense of order after the violence.

South African Police Minister Bheki Cele vowed to curb the continuing violence that erupted over the weekend.

“We can not allow anyone to make fun of our democratic state and we have instructed law enforcement agencies to redouble their efforts to stop the violence and increase the deployment on the ground,” he said, urging those who demonstrated to they did so peacefully.

“No amount of personal dissatisfaction or circumstance from our people entitles anyone to rob, vandalize and do as they please and break the law.”

On Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and announced that the army would be deployed to help the overcrowded police restore peace to the affected provinces. He acknowledged that the protests and looting may have started with political grievances, but said “opportunistic” criminal elements had taken over.
South African National Defense Force soldiers are stationed in Soweto to help police deal with deadly violence and looting.

He also warned of ongoing protests and looting could further undermine the country’s response and the spread of Covid-19 vaccines, with some vaccine sites forced to stop administering doses of violence.

The death toll in the country at Covid-19 has risen since June, and doctors describe a system beyond its breaking point – with inadequate hospital beds and barely enough oxygen.

Zuma turned himself in to police last week after days of speculation about whether he would comply with court orders to detain him. Zuma’s lawyers on Monday argued for a reduction of the sentence.

Zuma served as president from 2009 to 2018 and was once widely celebrated as a leading figure in the country’s liberation movement. He spent 10 years in prison with anti-apartheid hero and former President Nelson Mandela.

But his nine years in power were marred by allegations of high-level corruption.

CNN’s Amy Cassidy contributed to this report.

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2/ https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/13/africa/south-africa-violence-protests-intl/index.html

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