Just like their imprisoned leader, protesters take on the law and lose

Lungani Zungu

Police have arrested 62 people as the #Free Jacob Zuma protests, which started in KZN, spilled over to Gauteng, Mpumalanga and some parts of Limpopo.

The protests, triggered by the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday night, have been violent and opened the doors for criminals to loot in shopping centres in KZN and Gauteng.

MEC for Economic Development in KZN, Ravi Pillay estimated the economic destruction to have cost R100 million.

Some major and strategic highways in KZN and Gauteng were still closed by Sunday after the torching of trucks and vehicles.

President Cyril Ramaphosa broke his silence on Saturday, asking the pro-Zuma protesters to stop their disruptive protests.

“The Constitution protects the right to protest, but protest can’t be used to break the law or to destroy property and threaten lives. Criminal elements must be met with the full might of the law,” he said.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala agreed.

“We can’t allow any form of thuggery in our province. We call on all the protesting residents to stop.”

The police had their hands full in Joburg on Sunday as the protesters from some hostels took to the street carrying sticks with some of them reportedly armed.

The M2 highway was closed on Sunday.

Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Xolani Fihla said the police were on high alert after the gunshots were fired in the air.

“We will arrest people who are disruptive and violent,” he told Scrolla.Africa.

The JG Foundation appeared to be cheering from the sidelines as it shared images of protesting and burning trucks and blocking roads.

Zuma’s daughter Duduzile also shared videos. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele said charges may be laid against people who shared inflammatory videos on social media. 

The SABC reported that one of their crews was robbed of cameras and other equipment while covering protests in Alexandra. 

Video source: @_africansoil

Image source: @DuduzaneZuma