The inside story of Durban Anarchy Week

July 12, 2021 Combustion plant in the Lake Manatee area, Durban, South Africa

Two weeks after South Africa was caught in the worst violent scene since the advent of democracy in 1994-robbery and arson frenzy-temporary roadblocks and piles of garbage in the port city of Durban have been cleared.

But the soldiers continued to patrol the tense neighborhood destroyed by a week of anarchy, killing more than 300 people.

“Everything is over. I have no insurance. I am worried about the future of South Africa. I am worried about the future of my children,” said entrepreneur Dawn Shabalala, whose four small shops were looted-until the last water pipes and electrical fittings.

She recalled watching the local police overstretched in horror and frustration, and did not try to stop the destruction.

“I’m worried it will happen again. But where should I go? What should I do? I have 12 employees and I can’t afford it. The government didn’t notice this,” she said in her heart. A hair salon on a street was ransacked. Every shop there seemed to have been cleaned up, and several shops were also set on fire.

The riots are “orchestrated”

The governor of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, described the situation as “a disaster” after a crisis meeting with national and provincial leaders.

After a five-day robbery in Durban on July 14, 2021, Dr. Pixley Ka Seme’s street was full of dirt and filth, as the prison triggered five nights of continuous violence and robbery. Several shops in the city, The destruction of businesses and infrastructure, former President Jacob Zuma

At least 40,000 businesses were looted, burned or destroyed

Mr. Zikalala had earlier been criticized for suggesting that the authorities should release former President Jacob Zuma from prison to calm the situation.

It was Zuma who was arrested for contempt of court that caused the riots that led to claims that his allies were trying to overthrow South Africa’s young democracy.

But then Mr. Chikarara followed the official line of the government and admitted that the violence in his province and the economic heartland of Gauteng “started around the mobilization of the former president, but later became uncontrollable”.

Mr. Chikarara added: “This was deliberately started and carefully planned… and has the element of destroying the country-a rebellion.”

Although “many, many people are very dissatisfied [Zuma’s] Imprisonment,” Mr. Chikarara said, “Anyone involved in inciting, planning or supporting sabotage must be arrested and prosecuted.”

Similar to war zone

In Phoenix, one of the most affected communities, members of a large Indian community expressed concern that those who planned the violence deliberately incited racial tensions, and the security forces failed to protect the community.

A photo taken on July 16, 2021 shows that angry mobs were destroyed after setting fire to a house on Duffs Road near Phoenix

Although businesses were mainly targeted, some houses were burned down during the turmoil

“It’s like a war zone. It’s carefully planned. Some sinister stuff. These are well-trained people. They are actually trying to cause a civil war in this country. This is a direct attack on the Indian community,” Marvin Gowand Said from the local residents association.

But he pointed out with satisfaction that “the community ultimately protected itself.”

However, there are also accusations of racial profiling and self-defense attacks and killings.

South African Police Minister Bheki Cele raised concerns about the issue and cited a case in which a young black woman was stopped at an informal roadblock.

“She told me that when she was stopped and searched her car everywhere, other Indian-driven vehicles passed by and were not stopped. She was taken to a nearby river, and after being beaten, people were arguing. . She must be killed. The car was also burned down,” Mr. Saylor said.

Rally for Zuma

Indians — who first arrived in South Africa as indentured laborers in the late 1800s — accounted for 2.6% of the South African population. Most of them live in KwaZulu-Natal province.

On July 15, 2021, members of the armed community gathered around the fire to keep warm at a roadblock set up in Phoenix Town, North Durban to prevent looters from entering the community.

Some residents stay up late to protect the neighborhood

In a predominantly Indian community in the town of Verulam, Nasreen Peerbhay said her husband Mohammed Rahoff Sathar was killed in an informal roadblock set up to protect the community.

The live video footage showed a red car rushing directly into the crowd on a main road near the family business.

“There were five black people in the car. He drove at full speed, took eight people away, and five were seriously injured. My husband is one of them. It’s too ugly, too bad. So many people’s lives are in a short period of time. It was destroyed for a few days in time,” she said.

More information about the riots in South Africa:

In a nearby courthouse, soldiers and police helped separate Indians and Africans who were protesting the arrest of several suspects.

Construction worker Thobile Mkhize stood among a small group of protesters, wearing Zuma-themed shirts, singing songs popular in the fight against apartheid racism, which began with the rise of the African National Congress in 1994 And the End (ANC)-and then led by the late Nelson Mandela-came to power.

“We don’t believe in the judiciary,” Ms. Mherz said, and she heard approving rants and shouts of “Zuma!”

Before going to prison, the former president repeatedly questioned the integrity of the country’s top judges, accused them of political prejudice against him, and prompted the Constitutional Court to accuse Zuma of seeking to “undermine the rule of law.”

The riots are blamed on poverty

Many people in Durban, the main city of KwaZulu-Natal-shocked by the scale of the riot-seem to believe that there will now be strong opposition to Zuma and his allies within the ruling ANC.

“They failed. They did not destroy the community. This is a way to encourage the community to become stronger, from all different countries,” said local marketing director Anthony Kirkwood.

“I think this is the most brilliant thing we have ever witnessed.”

On July 12, 2021, during a protest in Durban, South Africa, looters emptied shops in the Springfield Value Center

The robbery of the merchant lasted about six days

However, activist Nkosensha Shez, who led a new pressure group supporting Zuma’s call for “complete economic transformation”, said that there is no evidence that the former president and his supporters were connected to the violence, and argued that they were black South Africans. Who is the real victim when trapped by systemic poverty?

“People are willing to give their lives to defend their ideals [former] Representative of President Jacob Zuma. This is not a war against white people. This is not a war against the Indian people. It is about correcting colonial apartheid.

“Most black people… go to the mall to rob everywhere, without spears, no guns. In fact, they are victims of war, victims of people shooting at them in the name of protecting private property,” Mr. Shezi said .

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