South Africa’s army is to deploy to help police to quell rioting and looting that has cost seven lives and led to hundreds of arrests, military officials have announced. Authorities have been unable to stem sporadic outbreaks of violence across two provinces since the former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to police to serve a 15-month prison sentence last week.
Supporters of Zuma looted shops and blocked highways with burning barricades over the weekend. On Monday the breakdown in order appeared to be spreading, with significant numbers of incidents of opportunistic looting reported in large cities including Durban and Johannesburg, the country’s commercial hub.
Police and witnesses described both looters and protesters armed with heavy sticks and there were multiple reports of the use of firearms.
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