South African troops began to deploy on a large scale to restore order
The South African army has begun to deploy 25,000 soldiers to help the police quell the week-long riots and violence caused by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
In the largest deployment of soldiers since the end of the white minority rule in 1994, the South African Defence Force also mobilized all 12,000 reserve forces. Trucks, armored personnel carriers and helicopters were used to transport soldiers to troubled areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which were mainly impoverished areas where violence took place for a week.
Last week, Zuma began serving 15 months in prison for contempt of court because he refused to comply with court orders during his presidency from 2009 to 2018, testified in a state-backed investigation into corruption allegations, and then broke out in violence event.
The protests in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu-Natal provinces escalated into a wave of theft in rural areas, although they have not spread to the other seven provinces of South Africa, where the police are on alert.
Armed patrols seem to have succeeded in bringing stability to South Africa’s most populous province of Gauteng, including Johannesburg, the country’s largest city. The army stands guard at the large Maponya shopping mall in Soweto, which has been closed.
Volunteer groups cleaned up broken glass and debris from shops that were attacked and looted in Soweto and Alexandra, Johannesburg.
However, the riots continued in KwaZulu-Natal province, where several factories and warehouses were smoldering on Thursday after being targeted by arson attacks. On Thursday, the shopping mall in Zuma’s hometown of KwaZulu-Natal was attacked again.