As violence spreads in South Africa, the death toll has risen to 72.
Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to deploy troops in an attempt to quell rioting that has claimed 72 lives, thieves struck stores and warehouses in South Africa for the fifth day in a row on Tuesday.
As widespread looting occurred in Johannesburg and the southeastern state of KwaZulu-Natal, the issue spilled over into the political arena, with South Africa’s main opposition accusing radicals of fomenting trouble.
The military was deploying 2,500 soldiers to assist the police, who were completely overloaded.
However, these numbers pale in comparison to the more than 70,000 military deployed to enforce the coronavirus lockdown last year, and only a few soldiers were observed at certain retail malls.
The boiling turmoil began last Friday, when former President Jacob Zuma began serving a 15-month contempt sentence for ignoring an inquiry into the corruption that marred his nine years in power.
It had spread to Gauteng province by the weekend.
“Since the start of these protests, the overall number of individuals who have died has grown to 72,” police stated in a statement late Tuesday.
The majority of the deaths, according to the forces, “relate to stampedes that happened during episodes of shoplifting.”
Others were tied to bank automatic cash machine shootings and explosions.
“More boots have been on the ground,” police added, referring to the latest deployment of soldiers.
The number of arrests has grown to 1,234, despite the fact that the ransacking sprees have involved thousands of people.
Earlier television footage showed dozens of women, some in their robes, men, and even children entering a Soweto butcher’s cold store and exiting with heavy boxes of frozen meat balanced on their shoulders or heads.
Three hours later, police arrived, firing rubber bullets, and soldiers arrived considerably later.
Hundreds of people poured into and out of a shopping center in Alexandra, a suburb north of Johannesburg, freely picking up food.
People in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, carried packaged refrigerators through bushes to a large queue of automobiles stopped along a roadway.
Aerial footage from Durban showed hundreds of people robbing a large shopping mall and hauling away huge boxes of merchandise.
After retail businesses below her block of apartments were set on fire in downtown Durban, a mother was spotted tossing her small infant off the first story of a building in an attempt to save her from the fire. The infant was safely placed in the hands of a group of passers-by.
In his case. Brief News from Washington Newsday.