At least 212 people died, and more than 2500 were arrested after at least 161 malls, 11 warehouses and 8 factories were looted. The damage is estimated to be worth R15bn ($1bn) and will cost the economy even more.
The riots were concentrated in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal but also spread to parts of Gauteng. Most shops in Durban were destroyed, leaving people queuing for hours for basic necessities such as bread and fuel. Police identified 12 instigators but haven’t named them and only one has been arrested.
Admission of failure
Ministers admitted that they were caught napping. “There was intelligence, I think, but [it] came in too late,” defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told an urgent meeting with members of parliament on Wednesday [14 July]. Three days earlier she said it was not necessary to deploy troops because the country was not facing a war.
But the violence
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