Protest broke out in South Africa last week when the former president Jacob Zuma who is seventy-nine years old was arrested and sentenced for fifteen months due to negligence of court order as he refused to show up against several corruption charges like fraud, bribery which most obviously he denied. His jailing has let South Africa see the worst violence in recent history. People are clashing with the police, looting the shops and causing damages to the shopping malls.
Police said that at least 72 people got killed during this protest and looting, out of which ten people were the ones who died in a panic caused in the township of Soweto. More than 1,200 folks are arrested for the violence from various regions.
The Police have been trying to maintain orders and have also used rubber bullets when needed but as the protest kept going for a week now, the military has been brought into the picture to help the police and protect the shop owners and properties. On Tuesday, Military rolled out to the streets of Johannesburg with rifles and ammunition to gain some control over the situation.
“We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state and we have instructed the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to stop the violence and to increase deployment on the ground,” said the South African Police minister, Bheki Cele. The South African president Cyril Ramaphosa also tried to calm the citizens on Monday evening by publicizing that the Military would be soon taking the control of the situation in affected regions.
On the other hand Zuma’s foundation said that the peace in South Africa is now directly related to Zuma’s release.
The protest has badly affected the sole proprietors, small shop owners and their businesses along with the covid-19 pandemic. It has also been said that the protest will badly affect the covid-19 vaccination drive as most of the vaccination centers have been forced to stop functioning due to the sudden rise of the protest.
If the cases rise and affected peoples’ health gets bad, the failure of vaccination drive will affect the country very badly as there is shortage of beds in the hospitals and lack of availability of oxygen.
Jacob Zuma was the president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018 and was accused of corruption but surely has made a group of supporters in his nine years of leading the country. While Zuma’s lawyers were continuously trying to reduce the sentence, Zuma’s followers are stubborn that they won’t stop protesting till he is released. The situation is now getting worse and a couple of days will tell us if the government is getting control of the situation or these illegal actions will continue to happen.