The South Africa burns, as it hasn’t happened for years: street protests which have degenerated, resulting in riots e violence repressed by force, pillage of shops and commercial activities. The dead are more than 200, hundreds of people arrested. And they were worth nothing appeals of the government to put an end to this wave of clashes. A revolt sparked by the incarceration of the former president last week Jacob Zuma, to serve 15 months in prison following his refusal to appear before an anti-corruption commission of inquiry.
So far the violence had remained localized mainly in the former president’s province of origin Zuma, the KwaZulu-Natal, until you reach Johannesburg and the surrounding province of Gauteng. Lately, however, they have expanded, touching provinces not involved so far: Mpumalanga, a is di Gauteng, e Northern Cape. Damage and looting have also been documented in Soweto, the famous township of Mandela, and in the port city of Durban. Now, after burning days, the climate is cooling down, even if there are still hotbeds of violence ready to rekindle.
The president: “To pay are the poor and the destitute” – And just a Durban the president visited yesterday Cyril Ramaphosa, to ascertain the damage and send a message to the population: “The riots have been caused, someone has planned and coordinated them”, adding: “Whoever is behind these acts has tried to provoke a popular uprising: under the pretext of political resentment, they try to sabotage our economy and rekindle racial tensions ”. The police are working to track down those responsible, who will not go unpunished, he assures. Words very different from those that the same head of state had uttered in recent days: “What we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of crime, with groups of people who instigate chaos simply like coverage per looting and theft, ”the president said Monday Cyril Ramaphosa. “We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate these actions and make sure they face the full force of our law.” In his speech, Ramaphosa had described the violence in recent days as the worst the country has seen since the 1990s. And so, since Monday, the army is also deployed in province most affected, flanked by all the services of defence e intelligence. “None political cause, no claim can justify violence e destruction. Those who pay the price are the poorest and most destitute “, he added, also fearing the risk of insecurity sanitary e feeding, linked to the lack of food and medicine supplies, both in pharmacies and in hospitals.
After an urgent consultation with i parties, a note was released stating that the President he “welcomed the proposals put forward by leader politicians“To expand the deployment of the South African National Defense Force. Not just police and soldiers: second Reuters, even so many vigilantes armed with pistol, many of them belonging to the South African white minority, have blocked roads to prevent further looting.
The fuse that blew up the South Africa powder keg – To ignite the chaos, the arrest of the former president Jacob Zuma. Zuma, 79, was formed on July 7, after some hesitation: a trial for corruption has been underway for some time e Zuma he had repeatedly refused to appear. For this, he was sentenced to 15 months: for outrage of justice, therefore, for having defied the court order to testify. The main proceedings, in which he is accused, investigate embezzlement and theft of funds during his nine years of presidency, which ended in 2018. Zuma, who pleaded not guilty in May, various charges are pending, including corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
The sensational arrest, welcomed by some as a sign of good health of the democracy, in others, however, it has sparked indignation. Making chaos explode. Tuesday, the foundation of the same Zuma he stated that the violence will continue until his own release. Gasoline on the fire: over 1,200 people have already been arrested during riots and looting.
The crisis in the country, from work to the pandemic – An anger that had been brewing for some time under the surface, for the failures ofAfrican National Congress, the party in power since ’94 (ie since the end of apartheid), unable to face the poverty of a large part of the population, the lack of work and the many other difficulties, greatly exacerbated by the pandemic: the South Africa in fact it is the country that has recorded the most deaths for Covid on the continent. Western country numbers. The government has just extended the containment measures (including a ban on gatherings, a curfew from 9pm to 4am and a ban on the sale of alcohol), which are now population exasperated: the South Africa is in full swing third wave and the delta variant gallops, while the vaccination campaign is far from taking off. Indeed, Tuesday the Department of health stated that the violent protests they have stopped administering vaccines, as well as gods essential health services for chronically ill people with tuberculosis, Hiv e diabetes: some sites of vaccination and postponed appointments already set. Not to mention that the worst outbreaks are found in the riotous provinces, where the riots therefore also risk aggravating the infections.
“The authority South African should take steps to to protect the life and property of all from violence illegal”, He urges Dewa Mavhinga, Director of Human Rights Watch for southern Africa. “There are a number of measures that can be taken to restore law and order and there are none justification for the illegal use of force “. Beyond the immediate task of safeguarding the life of the residents – points out Hrw – Ramaphosa and its government should guarantee i rights social and economic fundamentals, which are undermined by the widespread unemployment, inequality, poverty and corruption. These problems are among the root causes of frequent protests violent lived in South Africa, included looting and violence against foreign citizens. About half of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the latest data from government, dating back to 2015, while the unemployment reached a new record of 32.6% in the first three months of 2021.