For the past two weeks, South Africans living in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng residents have witnessed immense infrastructure destruction and violent looting sprees as protests swept across the country.
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Police Minister Bheki Cele last week said racial tensions were sparked by public violence and the looting of shopping centres and outlets in KwaZulu-Natal as the widespread looting of shops in KwaZulu-Natal left whole areas without access to basic groceries.
The protests – originally in support of former President Jacob Zuma – have now morphed into something else entirely, as opportunistic criminals exploit the unrest while thousands of people affected by lockdown fight for survival.
Another instigator arrested
One of the alleged instigators behind last week’s deadly riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was denied bail on Wednesday.
Former Ukhozi FM DJ, Ngizwe Mchunu, appeared briefly in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court after he handed himself over to the KZN police on Monday.
He will now remain behind bars, after his case was postponed to 28 July.
The state opposed his bail application, arguing that he was a flight risk.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) confirmed on Tuesday a total of 757 people have been arrested – 304 in KwaZulu-Natal and 453 in Gauteng.
Armed forces were deployed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 12 July 2021, in support of the operations of the South African Police Service following the acts of violence and intimidation seen in the country.
Ramaphosa vowed to restore order to South Africa and confirmed the SANDF had commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures to support police operations in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The NatJOINTS now intensified deployments in all the affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as well, which will be augmented by Saps’ measures already being put in place, such as calling up operational members from rest days.