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Zuma | South African leader jailed for violence in South Africa news


Police have made 28 arrests for allegations of public violence, robbery and restrictions on COVID-19 restrictions.

South African police have arrested 28 people and one of the largest highways in the country has been closed as a result of violent protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.

Protests erupted this week in several parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), in the home province of Zuma, after the former leader handed himself over to police in contempt of court for serving a 15-month prison sentence.

On Friday, the Supreme Court rejected Zuma’s request for the suspension of his arrest in a case seen as a test of the rule of law in the post-apartheid nation.

Zuma’s imprisonment has led to deep divisions in the government’s African National Congress (ANC), as one party faction remains loyal to the former president and his successor Cyril Ramaphosa has been a strong source of opposition.

KZN police spokesman Jay Naicker said 28 arrests had taken place since Friday, including public violence, robbery, damage to property and non-compliance with COVID-19 blocking rules.

So far no one has been killed or injured [Rogan Ward/Reuters]

He said protesters set off some trucks along the Mooi River, a town on the N3 road from Durban to Johannesburg, and stole shops on the Mooi River and eThekwini, a municipality that includes Durban.

Law enforcement officials were deployed to all districts of the province, but so far no one has been killed or injured, he added. The N3 was closed on the Mooi River on Saturday afternoon.

Ramaphosa, who was designed by his allies to get rid of Zuma in 2018, said in a statement that “criminal elements must comply with the full force of the law.”

Asked about the protests by the public media SABC, a spokesman for the Zuma Charitable Foundation said: “The direct anger of the people is because of the injustices they distribute to President Zuma.”

Zumari was sentenced to prison for challenging a constitutional court order that allowed him to provide evidence in an investigation into a high-level corruption investigation he held for nine years.

He has denied that there was widespread corruption under his leadership, but has refused to cooperate with the investigation that has emerged in recent weeks in office.

Zuma has challenged his sentence in the constitutional court, in part because of his alleged poor health and the risk of catching COVID-19. That challenge will be heard on Monday.

KZN Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala said in a video message that the provincial government understood the “extreme anger” of those protesting.

“As we face the arrest of the former president … we are in a unique situation,” he said. “Unfortunately violence and destruction often affect and affect people who are not often involved.”


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