Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 07:56 am
Since Friday in KwaZulu-Natal, where former South African president Jacob Zuma’s followers have gone on a fiery rampage and looting spree in protest of his 15-month prison term, multiple trucks and commercial property have been set ablaze.
Zuma is spending time for refusing to testify before a state-backed investigation into charges of corruption during his presidency, which lasted from 2009 to 2018. Zuma surrendered to authorities late Wednesday night.
Hundreds of Zuma fans gathered outside his Nkandla house last weekend, threatening violence if the former president was imprisoned. According to witnesses, roughly 20 trucks were halted and set on fire early Saturday near Mooi River, near Pietermaritzburg. Mayor Maile, who also happens to be a truck driver in the area, is concerned about the situation.
“I saw these trucks burn since I arrived here yesterday. The police had blocked off trucks on one side, but the protesters came from a different direction and continued burning trucks. They had burnt four trucks on that side and one truck on this side. Throughout the night they continued burning trucks as they piled up.”
A truck transporting new luxury autos was witnessed burning on a major highway. Protesters set fire to a truck belonging to the United Nations World Food Programme after stealing bags of maize meal from it. In the region, a huge retail supermarket was also robbed. Some automobiles were turned away from protest-affected areas. Willard, a local truck driver, appeared to be in a state of disarray.
“My truck is down there and we are not moving. So we don’t know what’s happening, what’s going on. And we don’t know what these guys, when they come back again, maybe they are going to burn us here. We don’t know what is going to happen next.”
More cops have been dispatched to the affected areas to keep an eye on major highway entrances and search vehicles. Around 27 persons have been arrested in connection with Zuma’s supporters‘ violent protests demanding his release from the Estcourt Correctional Center. On Friday, a provincial court rejected his petition for freedom, and he will appeal to the country’s highest court on Monday.