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S/Africa: Police urge caution amid Zuma arrest stand-off

South African police on Saturday warned motorists to avoid parts of KwaZulu-Natal province following violent protests overnight by supporters of…

South African police on Saturday warned motorists to avoid parts of KwaZulu-Natal province following violent protests overnight by supporters of jailed former president Jacob Zuma.South African Police Service spokesperson Jay Naicker said the protesters had closed the N3 highway near the Mooi River toll plaza in the province. 

He advised motorists to avoid the area as clean-up operations continued, with the protesters blocking roads and torching trucks in parts of the province.  

Zuma’s supporters want him freed from prison where he is serving part of his 15-month sentence handed down by the Constitutional Court for contempt.

He was locked up for defying an earlier court order to testify before the State Commission into State Capture, which is investigating high-level corruption during the former president’s tenure between 2008 and 2018.

Nacker said several people have been arrested for participating in violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal, adding that law enforcement officers would be deployed to monitor the situation at key points in the province.

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi defended the violent protests, saying it was the Constitutional Court which provoked the demonstrators.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala called for calm and adherence to the rule of law, urging demonstrators to protest peacefully. 

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