The president of South Africa, Ramaphosa, paid a visit to the eastern state of KwaZulu-Natal on Friday to inspect the extent of looting damage.
Cyril Ramaphosa claimed that the events that followed his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s arrest were orchestrated.
Authorities have identified some of the perpetrators, he added.
“All of these acts of agitation and looting were clearly orchestrated. There are those who instigate violence. It was organized and coordinated by a group of persons. We’re looking for those people, and we’ve found quite a few of them. We will not let chaos to erupt in our country,” added Ramaphosa.
Locals, including volunteers, have undertaken the difficult task of cleaning up the looters’ debris.
It’s clear evidence, according to the South African President, that the instigators’ “intentions have failed.”
“They are now cleaning up the nation and the towns, demonstrating that the instigators’ goal has failed, genuinely failed, because it is our people who are now coming to defend all of our people working together with our government, but also coming to defend our democracy,” he continued.
Following the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma by the country’s Constitutional Court last week, South Africa has seen a new wave of protest. At least 117 persons were killed in the disaster.
On Monday, July 12, the South African military announced the deployment of soldiers in two provinces, including Johannesburg, the country’s economic capital, to assist police in dealing with business looting and arson attacks.
#BREAKING: South Africa deploys military to quell unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal provinces, army says #ZumaUnrest #zumaprotests #JacobZuma #GautengShutdown #kwaZulunatal #SouthAfrica#KZNShutDownhttps://t.co/m41m5x5atU
— africanews 😷 (@africanews) July 12, 2021
At midday, soldiers could be seen patrolling Pietermaritzburg’s streets, but the army stated that “deployment will commence as soon as all the mechanisms” are in place to prepare.
It was a chaotic scene in Ekurhuleni, southeast of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.
As security personnel struggled to restore order, dozens of concerned men crackdown on looters. Hundreds of worried men, armed with sticks, firearms, and metal rods, decided to take matters into their own hands.
The owners of minibus taxis patrol a devastating retail mall in Johannesburg’s southeast, ostensibly to prevent the pilfering of stores looted by crowds.
Dozens of ''concerned men'' in S. Africa crack down on looters https://t.co/KiHnk4cQcC
— africanews 😷 (@africanews) July 15, 2021