KwaZulu-Natal: The Indian community in South Africa has been attacked by Pro-Zuma rioters, leading to torching of their properties, loot and assault in the neighbourhod. The attacks are extension of political protests that started upon arrest of former President Jacob Juma.
The rampaging rioters have been burning trucks, infrastructure, looting shops and invading homes. Many Indian communities have deployed private security personnel to protect their neighbourhood and themselves from the invading rioters.
The riots started as Pro-Zuma protests, after the 79-year-old handed himself to authorities on Wednesday to begin a 15-month sentence in a Contempt of Court case. Zuma has challenged the conviction and the court has reserved its orders.
However, what started as a protest against jailing of Zuma has turned into an ethnic riot targeting non-African communities including Indians and Latin Americans. At least 6 people have been killed and over 500 injured in the violence that took place over the weekend. Many Muslim establishments were also burnt down.
The riots started from KwaZulu-Natal, the home province of Zuma and later spread to Johannesburg. The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed Army to quell the violence.
“What we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality, with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a late-evening address on Monday, as reported by Reuters.
Many Twitter users have praised the Indians for resisting the mobsters. The Indian Community comprises of 2.5% in South Africa and most of them are business owners. Businesses have been the primary targets of the rioters. According to police spokesman of KwaZulu-Natal province, Jay Naicker, the officers had seen “criminals or opportunistic individuals trying to enrich themselves during this period”.