87 arrested as protest rock South Africa
South Africa is braced for a “national shutdown” on Monday as an opposition party holds protests demanding the resignation of the president, sparking fears of violence.
Police and soldiers have been deployed across the country to increase security presence after South Africa’s third-biggest party, the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), called for an occupation of the streets in an attempt to unseat Cyril Ramaphosa.
Authorities are concerned about a repeat of the deadly unrest two years ago, which was the country’s worst spate of violence since apartheid.
Mr Malema called on workers across the country to down tools in protest at rolling power outages being overseen by embattled state utility company Eskom and blamed on ageing energy infrastructure as part of a bid to drive the leader of the African National Congress (ANC) from power.
He addressed a crowd of nearly 1,000 in Pretoria, while marches took place in other cities.
At least 87 people were arrested for public violence and related offences on Monday, police said.
“At least 24,300 tires have been confiscated by law enforcement agencies. These were tires that were strategically placed for acts of criminality,” said police spokeswoman Athlenda Mathe.