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Zimbabweans Urged to Stay Away from Protests, Looting in South Africa Over Jailing of Zuma

Demonstrators loot stores as protests continue, following imprisonment of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, in Katlehong, South Africa, July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Zimbabweans living in South Africa have been urged to stay away from nationwide protests in the country over the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma as some of them have been captured in videos, circulating on social media platforms, looting goods in shops.

In a statement, the International Cross-Border Traders Association (ICTA), led by Dennis Juru advised all foreigners to “abstain from protesting against the incarceration of former President, Jacob Zuma.”

ICTA said it will ask the South African government to take drastic action against foreigners taking part in the protests and looting.

“As an Association we respect the judiciary and it's rulings. We shall ask the South African government to deport any foreign nationals perpetrating protests and looting.”

Some Zimbabweans have been captured on videos that have gone viral on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms looting goods in various shops.

In one of the videos, a Zimbabwean tells people to invade a shop selling an assortment of good, including beer and meat.

The unidentified man says, “Come in now. We are at Spigo Warehouse. Don’t ask me how much the beer is. There are a lot of goods. Come. There is beer, meat and other commodities.”

In another video in which Zimbabweans are in a room with many stolen groceries, an unidentified woman, accompanied by several others, sounds excited about their loot.

She says, “There were many things (goods) that I picked up. I don’t even know what some of these things are … We are going to another place.”

According to Reuters, the Associated Press and Voice of America, some local looters have been captured carrying pig and cow carcasses, live chicken, refrigerators, beer, chairs, lounge suites, sofas, flour, mealie meal, coffins, dildos and other items.

AP reports that six people have been killed in skirmishes between the police and people in Zuma’s KwaZulu Natal region and Johannesburg. The South African government has deployed troops in KwaZulu Natal to quell the protests, sparked by the incarceration of Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court.

Zuma declined to appear before a commission led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, probing graft charges laid against him, saying Zondo should recuse himself.

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