Image: @DefyingDutchman/@Yogazyr/ TWITTER
South Africa is experiencing its worst violence in the decades since the Court announced the imprisonment of the country's former President Jacob Zuma. The 79-year-old, who represented Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) and served Africa's President from 2009 to 2019, was charged with alleged corruption charges.
Amid the unrest, the thousands of businesses and establishments owned by the Indians and Indian origin South Africans have been attacked by pro-Zuma rioters. Indians are reportedly being targeted because of the influential Saharanpur-origin business family in South Africa, 'the Guptas', who were close to the former president and allegedly influenced numerous aspects of his regime.
Taking note of the development, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar talked with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, who insisted that the government is doing its best to “enforce law and order.”
Speaking to Republic TV, an Indian national staying in Durban, said, "We are law-abiding citizens and we belong here, we live here. We are asking everyone to come together work in harmony and peace...We still live in fear. We need to get life back to normality."
Adding that they live constantly in worry, the Indian national said, "Let's fix this as soon as possible before it gets worst. But we are living in fear as I speak now it feels that someone might come at the door and knock."
On being asked about what help Indian nationals need, the Phoneix resident said, "The situation where I am at the moment is volatile. Shopping is limited and high risk. Prices have rocketed. The riot is feeding of total fear we are living in. We are asking South African officials that we don't need promises, we need action."
On being asked about what help they need from the Indian government, he said, "We are asking the Indian government to talk to South African counterpart and get a guarantee to provide security for us. We need Indian officials to intervene in the system to help us and get our life back to normality."
Rioters have reportedly torched several vehicles and buildings, lotting shops, and clashed with cops, leading to at least 72 casualties. More than 1,200 pro-Zuma protesters have been arrested. To deal with the situation, South Africa has deported 25,000 troops to help end the unrest.
The riots were first exacerbated in Jacob Zuma's home district near Zulu and spread to major cities including, Durban and Johannesburg.