UPDATED 12:30 PM PT – Friday, July 16, 2021
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 25,000 troops throughout the nation in response to growing violence and looting. Reports on Friday stated the troops would help “defend the assets of the country,” while the president applauded ordinary citizens who have been working together with security forces.
The government assured it has been doing all it can to deal with the unrest, which has killed more than 100 people over the past week. The violence has been pushed by the public’s frustration with ongoing closures and economic downturn during the pandemic.
“This is not what we want to see in our country,” Ramaphosa asserted. “Obviously we are going to have to reexamine everything that we do in defense of our people, in defense of the assets of the country.”
Let me be clear: we will take action to protect every person in this country against the threat of violence, intimidation, theft and looting. We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate these actions and will ensure that they face the full might of our law.
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 12, 2021
Rioting initially started after the jailing of the former president due to his failure to appear at a corruption inquiry. Ramaphosa stated individuals who initiated the riots were under investigation by the government.
Reports say this marks the worst crisis the nation has seen since apartheid ended almost three decades ago.