South Africa’s violence: The country’s largest troop deployment since Apartheid amid “rapid looting”
RIOTS in South Africa have prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to order the country’s largest troop deployment since the end of Apartheid.
As police tried to manage the disturbance that began last week, South African troops were sent.
At least 72 individuals have died as a result of rampant looting and violence.
Following the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, chaos ensued.
According to BBC Breakfast correspondent Vumani Mkhize, the violence is having a “huge impact” on the country.
“This is the country’s largest soldier deployment since Apartheid, and it is just an indication of the intensity of these specific episodes that have rocked Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal,” Mr Mkhize told BBC Breakfast.
“We’ve witnessed a lot of looting and property destruction, and it’s been extremely violent.
“The country’s economy has been seriously harmed.
“Because Durban, as a port city, is a significant artery route for a variety of items that are carried not only to South Africa but also to the rest of the area.
“As a result, it is pretty big and has a massive impact on the country as a whole.”
Ministers in Pretoria have warned that unless the looting stops, basic food supplies will soon run out.
On Wednesday, Sky News Africa Correspondent John Sparks called the situation “totally out of hand.”
The South African police, he alleged, were “nowhere to be seen.”
“The government will have to declare a state of emergency because things are plainly out of hand.
He observed from Durban, “There is no feeling of self-restraint here, no regard for law and order.”
“It is quite difficult for them to police this – they are utterly overwhelmed,” Mr Sparks remarked.
Meanwhile, former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s brother warned that the country was a “powder keg.”
“South Africa has been labeled – and I am one of the people who describes it – as a powder keg,” Moeletsi Mbeki, Deputy Chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs, told Sky News.
“With such a large number of unemployed people living in poverty, any spark in South Africa could have erupted.
“As a result of that,” says the narrator.
He said, “It’s completely out of control; everything has been ruined.”