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Ramaphosa deploys army in violence-hit S/African regions

President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed the army in the troubled KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces to help the police deal with…

President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed the army in the troubled KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces to help the police deal with looting and arson attacks on businesses triggered by last week’s arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.The South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) said in a statement on Monday that it has deployed soldiers to the two regions in response to a request for assistance to assist law enforcement agencies amid violent protests. 

“The South African National Defence Force has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received… to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, respectively, to quell the unrest that has gripped both Provinces in the last few days,” it said in a statement.

This follows an urgent appeal by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Ramaphosa to deploy the SANDF in KwaZulu-Natal and declare the province to be in a “state of disaster” to curb the looting and violent demonstration in several parts of the region.

Initial violent protests on Friday morning, that included the burning of tyres and blocking major roads in Durban, were linked to the arrest of Zuma.

However, this has escalated to criminal activity with dozens of incidents of looting and destruction to property in the city and other parts of KZN. 

The violence has spread to other parts of South Africa, including Gauteng province – home to the country’s administrative capital Pretoria and commercial hub, Johannesburg.

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