The South African economy gas continued to suffer a setback over the violent protest of supporters of former President Jacob Zuma who was incarcerated by the South African court while facing prosecution on corruption charges. Businesses in South Africa were on Wednesday declared to have lost over $3.4 billion to riots perpetuated by Zuma’s supporters demanding immediate release of their political leader.
Security operatives in South Africa have been having a herculean task of taming the protesters and arresting some of the rioters.
At the resumption of the corruption trial of Zuma last Monday, security details were deployed to several parts of the country to forestall civil unrest from Zuma’s supporters that could obstruct the virtual trial of the former president, who has been jailed for contempt of court.
Security operatives were stationed around the High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Zuma’s home region of KwaZulu-Natal. Party supporters had earlier gathered there to express their solidarity to their leader.
Retail shops were massively vandalized, several household goods and other products were looted by the rioters.
Businesses providing commercial services were compelled to close their offices since the riot erupted early Monday.
Farmers and miners were said to be least affected by the riot. However, the safety of the workers in these sectors and other production firms were at high risk, thus, they could nit go to work regularly.
Banks were not spared. They were forced to shut down to avoid mob robbery.
It was also revealed that the riot created a heavy burden for insurance companies. The only relief is that most SMEs do not have insurance policies, and, therefore, have no insurance coverage. Big retail outlets which have insurance coverage would be making claims on the insurance companies in South Africa.
The 79uma is facing 16 count charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering in connection with the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats, and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.
The former SA president is also accused of receiving bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.
The prosecution commenced in May after a long delay and several postponements as counsels to Zuma fought the government to drop the charges.