South Africa Doubles Troops on the Streets as Protests Death Toll Hits 72

The South African government plans to deploy 25,000 more troops after days of widespread looting and violence in the country

The government seeks to curb the unrest, now in its sixth straight day, amid fears of food and fuel shortages as disruption to farming, manufacturing, and oil refining began to bite.

According to official figures, about 72 people have died and over 1,700 have been arrested since the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma sparked the country’s worst unrest in years.

Hundreds of shops and businesses have been looted especially in the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, impacting goods and services around the country

The government said 208 incidents of looting and vandalism were recorded on Wednesday, as the number of troops deployed doubled to 5,000.

But Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she had submitted a request for the deployment of 25,000 soldiers to the two provinces hit by violence – KwaZulu-Natal, where Durban is located, and Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg.

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