Dark forces are increasingly claimed to be behind the devastating looting and violence that left more than 100 people dead and damage and loss estimated at over $ 1 billion in South Africa this week last.
The looting is “orchestrated,” said Bheki Cele, the country’s police minister. “Is this a coup attempt linked to Jacob Zuma?” Shouts a headline in the Citizen newspaper. Former President Jacob Zuma was jailed last week for contempt of court after failing to respond to corruption allegations, initially sparking a relatively small protest on the highway, before the country erupted in an orgy of looting.
With 25,000 army troops pouring into the busy streets of South Africa, a government minister said incidents of looting fell to “only” 39 as of Thursday afternoon. However, after sunset, at least two other large shopping malls were set on fire in the worst-hit city, Durban.
Significantly, police arrested a suspected instigator, claimed to be behind the looting and violence. This person is one of 12 people allegedly identified by security intelligence officials as being responsible for coordinating the attacks. Investigators are examining WhatsApp and Telegram messages which appear to show a coordinated effort to mount the attacks, Fox News has learned.
A South African television station claimed that Police Minister Cele “said the violence was part of an orchestrated plan carried out by ghosts linked to Jacob Zuma”.
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Cele’s spokeswoman told Fox News that she did not recall the minister saying precisely this, but Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa said: “A number of names have been brought to us. We examine these elders [State Security] members… which could be linked to this destabilization. ”
He added: “You can see that this operation is being run by people who have already run operations.”
On TV, Cele added, “This looting thing is a smokescreen. It’s way beyond that, in terms of crime. So it looks like a crime against the state.”
A former bodyguard of former President Zuma is said to be one of those suspected of being behind the looting. Two of Zuma’s descendants have advocated any protest on social media. In a video Thursday, Zuma’s son Duduzane called on people to continue the looting – but with caution. In a video social media post, young Zuma said: “People who protest and loot, please do it carefully and responsibly.”
Some of the looting is far from standard theft, leading observers to wonder if there is indeed a “third force” at work, trying to destabilize the country by attacking infrastructure. One hundred and thirteen mobile network towers were vandalized, roads blocked, life-saving pharmaceutical companies supplying, among other drugs, life-saving HIV / AIDS drugs cleaned up, the country’s only oil refinery reportedly attacked and now closed, bakeries supplying bread closed, and many COVID-19 vaccination centers forced to stop operating.
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And then there is the alleged Soweto looter: Police claim this young man told them he was paid to try to set fire to Soweto’s biggest shopping mall.
Some analysts believe the arson accompanying many of the attacks is an indication that strange forces are at work. It is emphasized that opportunistic thieves pick up what they wish to steal and run away with it. But many department stores, malls and warehouses were then – often some time after the looting ended – set on fire.
Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto told reporters: “Typically, it seems that once a property has been looted, it is then set on fire. We have to be clear, however, that we understand that they are different forces. “
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Frustration overflows. Prime Minister of KwaZulu-Natal, a province that includes Durban, Sihle Zikalala, normally a reserved senior politician, appeared to lose his mind live on TV when a suspected looter crossed his path and punched him badly fist.
And Police Minister Cele, who still wears a felt hat, which has earned him the nickname “The Cat in the Hat”, appeared to speak to reporters at least for the second time in a day on Thursday with an approach. new but perhaps constitutionally questionable to get looted property, initiating what he called “Operation Keep Your Receipt”.
Cele explained to residents of an area adjacent to the looted shops: “Prepare the receipt, because if we come there and there is no receipt, life is going to be tough – that’s what you are.” looted and we (will) loot your house as well. “
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