Military to be deployed in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to quell pro-Zuma violence

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  • Soldiers will be deployed to quell the violent riots in areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  • Rioters have gone on the rampage in protest against former president Jacob Zuma's incarceration.
  • Demonstrations led to shopping malls and other properties being set alight.

The South African National Defence Force has started with pre-deployment processes to have soldiers dispatched to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, as violent rioting in protest of former president Jacob Zuma's imprisonment continues.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been under pressure to deploy troops as the violence escalates.

READ | Ramaphosa blasts 'ethnic mobilisation' in pro-Zuma unrest, violence across the country

Demonstrations had led to shopping malls and other properties set alight and in some instances destroyed.

The unrest so far had claimed the lives of seven people.

In a statement on Monday, SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi said a request for assistance was received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

"The duration and number of deploying soldiers will be determined based on the assessment of the situation on the ground by the relevant law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the SANDF's deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their constitutionally mandated law and order duties. SANDF deployment-related information updates will follow in due course," Mgobozi said.

On Monday, the violence and looting continued unabated in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The eThekwini Metro Police Department and rioters traded live gunfire on the N2 near the Westwood Mall in Durban.

An officer was wounded in the exchange.

More damage to property was reported in other areas around Durban.

READ HERE | #ZumaUnrest: follow our live update for the latest on the riots sweeping the country

In Mayville near the city, a mosque was set on fire while looting was reported in KwaMashu at the Bridge City Mall.

Makro in the Cornubia business district had been barricaded and looted; so too shops in Glenwood at the Glenwood Village Mall.

In Johannesburg, clashes between police and rioters continued well into Sunday evening.

Some shop owners were seen trying to salvage what was left of their businesses after rioters went on a looting spree.

Chairperson of Parliament's defence committee, Cyril Xaba, said an urgent meeting had been called for Wednesday on the matter. 

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