WRAP | Riots and looting: Violent protests spread to Tshwane as president calls for calm

12 July 2021 - 11:39 By TimesLIVE
People looting a shop in Durban flee from a policeman on July 12 2021 as riots continue, under the hashtags #FreeJacobZuma and #KZNShutdown on social media, in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
People looting a shop in Durban flee from a policeman on July 12 2021 as riots continue, under the hashtags #FreeJacobZuma and #KZNShutdown on social media, in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Rioting and violence has continued in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on Monday, with scenes of shopping centres being looted and buildings burning.

Here are the latest stories covering the violence that has gripped parts of SA:

July 12 2021 - 22:16

WATCH | 'This is not us': Ramaphosa addresses SA about nationwide violent riots & the deployment of soldiers

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday July 12 2021, after the violent protests in provinces across the country. The widespread protests degenerated into looting and torching of shops and trucks and attracted the attention of the cabinet.

The address came a day after Ramaphosa announced the country would remain on adjusted lockdown level 4. On Monday, he called for calm, warning criminals that they will face the full might of the law as lawlessness is brought to an end and economic activity is allowed to continue.

July 12 2021 - 22:15

Riots spread to Tshwane as Denyln Mall is looted

Tshwane Metro Police and SAPS officers were involved in running battles with looters on Monday night as violent protests continued to spread across Gauteng.

Metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said operations from earlier in the day were continuing, and confirmed that there had been looting at Denlyn Mall, in Mamelodi West, after 8pm on Monday.

July 12 2021 - 21:52

Ramaphosa confirms that death toll in violent protests rises to at least 10

The death toll from recent days of civil unrest has risen to at least 10, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night.

Earlier in the day, police said that six had died in the violence, which started in KwaZulu-Natal and has since spread to Gauteng.

As he addressed the nation in response to scenes of violence playing out in the country, Ramaphosa named those who had died.

July 12 2021 - 21:35

IN FULL | Ramaphosa pledges to restore calm across SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday pledged to restore calm across SA in the wake of violent protests and looting seen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

July 12 2021 - 21:29

Ramaphosa warns of food and medication insecurity 'in a few weeks' if violence continues

If the violent looting and destruction seen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in recent days doesn't swiftly come to an end, food and medicine shortages will soon follow.

This was the dire warning from President Cyril Ramaphosa as he addressed SA on Monday night.

The president has authorised the deployment on the SA National Defence force in support of police operations in both provinces, as riots continued unabated.

July 12 2021 - 20:58

Cyril Ramaphosa: 'We will restore calm and order'

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday vowed to “restore calm and order”, as violent riots and looting rocked large parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Speaking during a national address, he said that it was of vital importance to “restore calm and stability without any delay”.

“It is vital that we prevent any further loss of life or injury, or destruction of valuable infrastructure and property that sustains the lives of our people.

July 12 2021 - 19:00

Jessie Duarte: 'Strongmen' in the ANC are fuelling violent protests

Violent protests triggered by those calling for the release of former president Jacob Zuma have nothing to do with internal ANC factional wars, party deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said.

Duarte admitted that there were factions at each other's throats within the ANC, but said she was “not convinced” that the antagonism between warring factions fuelled the pro-Zuma protests.

She said if the looting and violence was endorsed by one of the ANC factions, the party national executive committee meeting at the weekend would not have been unanimous in condemning it.

July 12 2021 - 18:43

Sassa cash pay points suspended as a result of looting

The South African Social Security Agency's cash delivery services were suspended on Monday as a result of looting and violent protests.

“Due to the unrest that has been escalating over the past few days, the cash in transit industry has informed (Sassa) that they will not be providing any cash delivery services to the Sassa cash pay points until further notice,” the agency said.

The agency said this was to ensure the safety of Sassa beneficiaries as well as the industry.

July 12 2021 - 18:41

'She will have to explain her tweets': ANC to hold Zuma's daughter accountable for Twitter posts

The ANC says it will hold former president Jacob Zuma's daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla accountable for her social media conduct since the sentencing of her father to 15 months in prison for contempt.

The governing party's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte made the statement on Monday during a media briefing after the ANC's national executive committee meeting.

Zuma-Sambudla, said Duarte, was one of five ANC members who had been hauled over the coals to explain their social media posts, particularly videos — posts which have been interpreted by some as tantamount to incitement of violence.

July 12 2021 - 17:58

Minister questions inaction by private security guards as looters rampage

Security cluster ministers want private security companies to help quell the looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula decried inaction by private security companies, whom she described as well-armed and well-organised and, in the main, responsible for securing private properties and businesses.

TimesLIVE has heard an audio clip where Mapisa-Nqakula told the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday: “As we are talking now there has been a lot of looting of shopping malls. There [are] a lot of shopping malls which have been burnt down ... and it has been happening in the presence of private security in those areas.”

July 12 2021 - 17:57

Alcohol vendors lose ‘hundreds of millions of rand’ to looting, says liquor industry

Looting of alcohol is pushing already hard-hit businesses further into crisis, liquor traders said in a joint statement on Monday afternoon as they pleaded with President Cyril Ramphosa to lift the ongoing booze ban.

“With liquor outlets increasingly becoming the target of looting and rioting sweeping across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the alcohol industry urgently calls on government to lift the current alcohol ban to prevent a total collapse of the industry and a further boost to the illicit industry,” the traders said.

The statement was issued by organisations including the Beer Association of SA (Basa), the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa (LTASA), the National Liquor Traders (NLT), the SA Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba) and Vinpro.

July 12 2021 - 17:26

Police, MEC warn Eastern Cape against pro-Zuma mass protests

As messages threatening huge pro-Zuma protests in the Eastern Cape this week circulated widely on social media on Monday, National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) ​spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili issued a warning to those behind the calls.

The messages claimed there would be “huge” protests in Gqeberha, Bhisho, East London and Mthatha on Tuesday.

Reportedly there were protests in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and Makhanda on Monday morning. But the messages shared on social media implied that there would be a total shutdown on Tuesday.

July 12 2021 - 17:07

Business body welcomes military deployment to quell protests

Business Unity SA (Busa) says it welcomes the mobilisation of the military to help hard-pressed police units restore order in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal hit by violent protests and opportunistic incidents of crime since Friday.

“We welcome the mobilisation of the military,” Busa CEO Cas Coovadia said on Monday.

“We believe this decision should have been taken earlier, but urge the police and army to act urgently to protect people and property and arrest perpetrators.”

July 12 2021 - 16:45

The problem is you can’t shoot them, cop says about looter stealing goods

There were chaotic scenes at Springfield Value Centre in Durban on Monday as scores of people from surrounding communities stormed the shopping centre to loot stores containing branded shoes, apparel, furniture, appliances and groceries.

Police and metro police officers responded to the looting and fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowds who had broken into shops and emptied hundreds of boxes holding branded apparel in the parking lot.

Officers shouted at the looters, telling them to drop the stolen goods and leave the centre.

July 12 2021 - 16:05

Riots are blocking service delivery, says premier David Makhura

Ongoing riots in Gauteng are hurting the government's ability to provide essential services, premier David Makhura said on Monday.

He said the volatile environment has seen people struggling to get to their workplaces because of limited access and services being disrupted across the province.

“To this end, some provincial government services, including vaccination sites in the affected areas, have had to temporarily close due to safety concerns by both the staff and the public. Emergency medical services (EMS) teams are equally experiencing difficulty in responding to distress calls in communities due to limited access.

July 12 2021 - 15:47

KZN south coast's water tankers, municipal offices and market set alight

Water tankers, municipal offices and a fresh market on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast were set alight and vandalised on Monday morning. 

Ugu municipality spokesperson France Zama confirmed the acts of vandalism of infrastructure. 

July 12 2021 - 15:46

Umlazi mall in mop-up operation after looters leave centre in ruins

Umlazi Mega City is counting the cost after protesters stormed the large shopping mall south of Durban on Sunday night, causing extensive damage and looting several stores.

Centre management said the mall was closed so they could assess the extent of the damage.

July 12 2021 - 15:44

WATCH | Inside KZN’s capital Pietermaritzburg as it burns

KwaZulu-Natal’s capital of Pietermaritzburg turned into a war zone as violent protests and looting in the name of a campaign to release former president Jacob Zuma from prison intensified on Monday throughout the province.

The N3 highway leading to Pietermaritzburg was eerily quiet in contrast to the lawless masses running around the city.

A dead body, looters running through the streets without fear of recourse and hardly any police visibility was witnessed by a TimesLIVE team when patrolling through the area.

July 12 2021 - 15:25

Metro police deployed in Mamelodi and Pretoria CBD to tackle lawlessness

Community safety and emergency services MMC Karen Meyer says the Tshwane metro police department (TMPD) will support the police and the military in operations against lawlessness in the metro.

Meyer said TMPD members had been deployed and were maintaining high visibility, particularly in volatile areas such as the Pretoria CBD and Mamelodi.

12 July 2021 - 14:57

Looting and death in Jeppestown: ‘We were scared bullets would come through our windows’

A man who was shot dead when police tried to stop the looting of a bottle store in Johannesburg was covered with plastic bags and boxes by protesters, who then resumed their pillaging spree.

This was one of many violent scenes that played out in the city on Sunday.

July 12 2021 - 14:34

LISTEN | Six people killed as violence sweeps across Gauteng and KZN, 219 arrests

12 July 2021 - 13:57

Police on leave or deployed elsewhere to be recalled to curb looting: Popcru

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says officers who are on leave or are deployed elsewhere are to be redeployed to help curb the spread of looting engulfing parts of the country.

This comes after an urgent Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) meeting which was convened on Monday.

“We call on all our members to heed this call for a recall to defend our country from all these violent protests, and urge all members to be vigilant and exercise extreme caution when discharging their duties.”

July 12 2021 - 13:33

IN PICTURES | Violent riots and looting grip KZN and Gauteng

Widespread protests have erupted across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, with shops looted and stores and vehicles torched.

July 12 2021 - 13:06

‘It’s sad but we warned the ANC’: Carl Niehaus weighs in on fiery protests

The disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) says sporadic violent protests over the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma could have been averted if the leadership of the ANC had political will.   

The association, staunch supporters of the former president, had previously said Zuma’s arrest would lead to instability in SA. 

July 12 2021 - 12:20

Durban vaccination sites, Dis-Chem testing stations in KZN closed due to 'civil unrest'

Clinics and community vaccination sites in Durban were closed on Monday as protesters continued to go on the rampage in and around the city.

Dis-Chem also announced that its pharmacies, vaccination sites and drive-through testing stations would be closed in KwaZulu-Natal.

July 12 2021 - 12:18

‘Heightened visibility’ of police at violence hotspots: Durban mayor

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda called for calm on Monday and said there would be heightened police visibility in violence-torn hotspots in Durban and surrounding areas.

He said since the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma last week, “the city continues to experience sporadic violent protests in areas including Peacevale along the N3, Umgababa on the N2, KwaMashu, Inanda, Umlazi, Clermont, Pinetown and the CBD”.

July 12 2021 - 12:09

Military to be deployed in KZN and Gauteng as looting spreads

The cabinet has taken a decision to deploy members of the military in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the wake of the protests against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.

The widespread protests, which have resulted in the looting and torching of shops and  trucks, has attracted the attention of the cabinet.

Insiders have told TimesLIVE the decision to deploy the army was taken at a special meeting of the justice crime prevention and security cluster of the cabinet on Monday.

July 12 2021 - 11:59

Boxer's narrow escape: I could hear gunshots and people shouting, 'Shaya, shaya'

“It was just a flashback of all my life in a split second.”

This is how Lusanda Komanisi, a lightweight boxing champion, explained his near-death experience on Sunday evening.

The 31-year-old boxer was driving to his home in Rembrandt Park, near Alexandra in Johannesburg, from a friend's place in nearby Bramley just before 8.30pm when he got caught up in the violent protest.

July 12 2021 - 11:30

Six people killed as violence sweeps across Gauteng and KZN, 219 arrests

The police on Monday said they are investigating the circumstances around the deaths of six people since violent protests erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Spokesperson for the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints), Col Brenda Muridili, said the first body of a man with gunshot wounds was found on Sunday morning close to the Alexandra clinic. Later in the day, officers found the body of a security guard with assault wounds in Jeppestown.

July 12 2021 - 10:47

Durban metro police were not looting, say city officials after video goes viral

eThekwini officials have quashed speculation that city police officers were participating in widespread looting and criminality that has plunged KwaZulu-Natal into anarchy. 

This comes after a video circulated on social media showed uniformed officers packing goods, including coolers boxes, into an official vehicle. 

July 12 2021 - 10:30

Malema on riots and looting: 'Where are the leaders to speak to their people?'

EFF leader Julius Malema has taken subtle shots at leaders in the country, asking where they are and if they are scared of their people.

The red beret leader took to Twitter at the weekend to weigh in on the deployment of the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the potential deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), saying they shouldn't be the first call.

July 12 2021 - 10:21

WATCH | ‘SA is burning’: Looting and violence chaos in KZN and Gauteng

July 12 2021 - 10:17

Mob sets mall in Vosloorus on fire — several shops looted, M2 closed in Gauteng

A violent mob on Monday morning set Naledi Mall in Vosloorus alight, Ekurhuleni disaster and emergency management services said.

“I can confirm that we have received a call that Naledi Mall is on fire. Firefighters can’t access the scene because of the rioting crowds. We are still waiting for backup,” spokesperson William Ntladi told TimesLIVE.

This after the mall was looted and vandalised on Sunday.

July 12 2021 - 8:38

Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla takes aim at president as Free Zuma campaign rages

Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla took a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa on social media, defending the “criminal elements” who were behind millions of rand worth of damage after violent looting, fiery protests and national road closures in KwaZulu-Natal as part of the Free Jacob Zuma campaign.

On Sunday night, Jacob Zuma's daughter tweeted: “How does our Proxy President for WMC tell us live that he is watching people’s Twitter accounts ... that is why we have no leadership in the country, ubusy neTwitter ... what a joke!!! Our people are hungry. Our people don’t have jobs. Go work and stop stalking people on Twitter ...”

July 12 2021 - 7:59

Gunshots and explosions ring out in KZN as violent protests continue

As gunshots and explosions rang out when looting and mayhem continued in many parts KwaZulu-Natal on Monday morning, major routes were closed to traffic, Durban's public transport system was not operating and even funerals had been put on hold.

Protesters continued to loot shopping centres on Monday morning.  Some were seen walking off with appliances, including TVs and washing machines, and trolleys filled to the brim. 

July 12 2021 - 7:15

'A business of tears,' says trucking industry targeted by rioters

The transport business in SA is “a business that only brings tears and more tears”, says Road Freight Association CEO Gavin Kelly after riots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal where trucks were again a favourite target for rioters.

Kelly said it was reported that 30 trucks had been set alight in the province since the violence started.


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