Violence, Protests Spread In South Africa After Jacob Zuma Arrest

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Dozens of people have been arrested in South Africa as violence spreads following the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma.

Pro-Zuma protesters first took to the streets after the 79-year-old handed himself to authorities on Wednesday to begin a 15-month sentence.

But police now say criminals are taking advantage of the chaos, which spread from his home province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg, in Gauteng.

NatJOINTS, the national intelligence body, said some 300 people had barricaded a major highway in Johannesburg – South Africa’s economic hub.

About 800 people were also involved in an incident in which one police officer was shot in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg. Two other officers were hurt.

Police also responded to reports of looting in both Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal. More than 60 people have been arrested so far.

Burned out cars in downtown Joahnnesburg. But police now say criminals are taking advantage of the chaos.

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It is unclear if they are linked to the pro-Zuma protests, with KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Jay Naicker telling news agency Reuters officers had seen “criminals or opportunistic individuals trying to enrich themselves during this period”.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa appealed for calm on Saturday, but on Sunday protesters with sticks, golf clubs and branches were seen marching through Johannesburg’s central business district.

The jailing of a former president is unprecedented in South Africa, which has been gripped by Zuma’s legal turmoil.


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