South Africa: Police arrest 20 alleged instigators of July 2021 riots

South Africa: Police arrest 20 alleged instigators of July 2021 riots

Police arrested 20 people in South Africa on Thursday on suspicion of being among the "instigators" of riots that left more than 350 people dead in July 2021, the worst violence since the end of apartheid.


The arrests were made simultaneously in several provinces across the country after a police investigation into incitement to violence on social media during that period, according to a police statement.

The 20 arrested suspects are due to appear in a court in the eastern city of Durban on Friday on charges ranging from conspiracy to commit public violence to inciting public violence and inciting arson.

In July 2021, the country experienced a wave of rioting and looting in Johannesburg and the eastern province of Kwazulu-Natal, which left more than 350 people dead.

Initially triggered by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, who was convicted of contempt of court, the violence was also a sign of a tense social and economic climate.

The slow pace of bringing the perpetrators to justice is frustrating not only the relatives of the victims but also many South Africans, whose country has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

More than 8,000 incidents were reported to the police, leading to 5,500 arrests, and 2,435 cases are still awaiting prosecution.

Africa News

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