South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed the country’s military to restore calm after days of violent protests and looting sparked by the Jacob Zuma arrest.Ramaphosa acknowledged the protests and looting may have begun with political grievances, but that criminal elements had taken over.
Ramaphosa also warned that continued protests and looting could further undermine the nation’s covid -19 response and vaccination rollout. Several vaccine sites had to pause administering Covid shots because of the violence
Zuma, 79, was sentenced late last month for defying a constitutional court order to give evidence at an inquiry investigating high-level corruption during his nine years in office until 2018.
At least six people have been killed and nearly 500 arrested since Zuma handed himself in to police last week.
Shops have been looted and buildings set on fire.
Troops have been deployed in Gauteng province, and in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma was convicted of contempt of court after failing to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency.