Crowds clashed with police and ransacked or burned shopping malls in South Africa on Tuesday with dozens reported killed as grievances unleashed by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma boiled over into the worst violence in decades.
Protests that followed Zuma’s arrest last week have widened into looting and an outpouring of generalised anger over inequality that persists 27 years after the fall of apartheid.
Poverty has been exacerbated by severe social and economic restrictions aimed at blocking the spread of COVID-19.
Security officials said the government was working to halt the spread of the violence and looting, which has so far spread from Zuma’s home in KwaZulu-Natal province to Gauteng province surrounding the country’s biggest city Johannesburg.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced late on Monday he was dispatching troops to help overwhelmed police halt the unrest and “restore order”.