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30 killed, 800 arrested, Malls looted as protests turn violent in South Africa over incarceration of Jacob Zuma

Over 30 persons have been killed as violence escalates in most parts of South Africa since the nation’s former President, Jacob Zuma, handed himself to security operatives last week.

The violent demonstrations that took place when he handed himself over last week have escalated into looting and arson, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal but also in Gauteng where the country’s biggest city, Johannesburg, is located.

Some COVID-19 vaccination sites and clinics in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were shuttered due to safety concerns, the Gauteng Provincial Government and an independent pharmacy association said, further delaying a sluggish immunization campaign.

Not less than 800 persons have been arrested as the protests escalated with fires set, highways blocked and businesses looted.

Reports say police personnel in the areas affected are overwhelmed and overstretched, prompting Authorities to deploy Military to assist them.

However, Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said there was not yet a need to declare a state of emergency over the violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.

Zuma, who has been in police detention since Wednesday night, turned himself into security operatives to begin his jail term for disobeying a court order to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption while he was in power from 2009 to 2018.

The former President will be held in isolation for 14 days in line with COVID-19 protocols, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said on Thursday, outside Estcourt Correctional Centre, eastern South Africa, where Zuma was being held.

Zuma, 79, has already launched legal challenges against his sentence, asking the court to cancel it on a number of grounds, including that he has been unfairly treated and that he might catch and die from COVID-19 in jail.

This story first appeared in Eons Intelligence,

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