Arson, Looting Spree as Pro-Zuma Protests Spread in Joburg

Demonstrations continued into Sunday afternoon in Johannesburg, with police reporting several incidents of shoplifting and vehicles being burnt.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department say that the protests were continuing in Jeppestown, Benrose, Denver, Berea and in the CBD with carcasses of overturnned charred tyres and vehicles strewn on Jules Street Jeppestown. A building adjacent the street was set aflame.

“Several roads have been barricaded with burning tyres, rocks and debris. Protesters are marching in those areas. Officers are on the scene. Road users and members of the public are advised to avoid,” the JMPD said.

Violence initially linked to support for jailed former president Jacob Zuma were noticed in KwaZulu-Natal. The protests spread to Gauteng late Saturday night.

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One police officer was shot and two others injured in the violence. Police is currently investigating whether the death of a 40-year-old man in Alexandra was linked to the violence.

By Sunday morning, protesters burning tyres barricaded Johannesburg’s M2 freeway on both sides in the region of the Denver exit.

The JMPD said on its Twitter account that there were other closures between Benrose and Cleveland due to “continuous riots in the area…and reports of shots being fired at passing vehicles”.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said that there were also “shops looted and vehicles torched” in the Maboneng and Alexandra areas overnight, but the number of damaged stalls and vehicles have not been confirmed.

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According to him, the protests started at on Saturday night and continued into Sunday morning. Police were monitoring and responding to the situation accordingly.

SAPS said a statement on the latest developments would be soon be released.

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