Shadowy forces are increasingly claimed to be behind the devastating looting and violence which has led to over 100 deaths and estimated damage and losses of more than $1 billion in South Africa this past week.The looting is “orchestrated”, said Bheki Cele, the country’s police minister. “Is this a Jacob Zuma-linked coup attempt?” screams a headline in the Citizen newspaper. Former President Jacob Zuma was jailed last week for contempt of court after failing to answer corruption allegations, sparking first a relatively small highway protest, before the country erupted into an orgy of looting.With 25,000 army soldiers pouring out onto South Africa’s troubled streets, a government minister claimed looting incidents had dropped to “only” 39 Thursday afternoon. However, after sunset at least two more major shopping malls were torched in the worst-affected city, Durban.
South African Defence Force soldiers on patrol alongside the male single sex hostels in Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg, Thursday, July 15 2021.
(AP Photo)Significantly, police arrested an alleged instigator, claimed to be behind the looting and violence. This person is one of 12 reportedly identified by security intelligence officials as responsible for coordinating the attacks. Investigators are looking at WhatsApp and Telegram messages which appear to show a coordinated effort to mount the attacks, Fox News has learned.A South African TV network claimed Police Minister Cele “says the violence is part of an orchestrated plan being executed by spooks tied to Jacob Zuma.” LARA LOGAN: SOUTH AFRICA’S UNREST ‘EERILY SIMILAR’ TO RACIAL TENSIONS IN USCele’s spokesperson told Fox News she doesn’t recollect the minister saying precisely that, but Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa stated: “There are a number of names that has (sic) been brought to us. We are looking at those former [State Security] members … who could be connected to this destabilization.” He added: “You could see this operation is ran by people who have ran operations before.”
The trashed entrance to a supermarket in Durban South Africa, Thursday, July 15, 2021, as unrest continues in the KwaZulu Natal province.
(AP Photo)On television, Cele chipped in: “This thing of looting is a smokescreen. It’s far beyond that, in terms of criminality happening. So it does look like a crime against the state.”An ex-bodyguard to former President Zuma is reportedly one of those under suspicion of instigating the looting. Two of Zuma’s offspring have advocated at the least protest on social media. In a video Thursday, Zuma’s son Duduzane called for people to continue looting – but carefully. In a social media video post, the younger Zuma said, “The people that are protesting and looting, please do so carefully and please do so responsibly.”Some of the looting falls far from standard thieving, leading observers to ask whether there is indeed a “third force” at work, trying to destabilize the country by attacking infrastructure. One-hundred-thirteen mobile network towers have been vandalized, roads blocked, vital pharmaceutical companies supplying, amongst other medicines, life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs cleaned out, the country’s only oil refinery reportedly attacked and now shut down, bakeries supplying bread closed, and many COVID-19 vaccination centers forced to stop working.SOUTH AFRICA DEPLOYS 25,000 TROOPS TO END WEEK OF RIOTING
People carry bags of rice from a factory in Mobeni, south of Durban South Africa, Thursday, July 15, 2021, as unrest continues in the KwaZulu Natal province.
(AP Photo)And then there’s the alleged Soweto looter: police claim this young man told them he was paid to try and set fire to Soweto’s largest shopping mall.Some analysts believe the arson accompanying many of the attacks is an indication that strange forces are at work. It’s pointed out that the opportunistic thieves pick up what they wish to steal and run off with it. But many of the large shops, malls and warehouses have then – often sometime after looting has finished – been set on fire.Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto told reporters: “As a general pattern, it seems once a property has been looted it is then set alight. We need to be clear, however, that we understand these are different forces.”
A building burns near Durban South Africa, Thursday, July 15, 2021, as unrest continues in the KwaZulu Natal province.
(AP Photo)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPFrustration is boiling over. The premier of KwaZulu-Natal, a province which includes Durban, Sihle Zikalala, normally a reserved senior politician, appeared to lose it live on TV when a suspected looter crossed his path, and pummelled him with his fists.And Police Minister Cele, who always wears a fedora, leading to him being called “The Cat in the Hat,” popped up to talk to reporters for at least the second time in a day Thursday with a novel but perhaps constitutionally questionable approach to getting looted goods back, launching what he called “Operation Keep your Receipt.” Cele explained to residents of an area adjacent to looted shops, “Prepare the receipt, because if we come there and there’s no receipt, life is going to be tough – it’s what you’ve looted and we (will) also loot yourself out of your house.”
Every single shop, every single warehouse as far as the horizon in every direction has been looted. That’s the scene from a helicopter flying over South Africa’s third-largest city, Durban – for 40 minutes without a break. Tens of thousands of people branded as ‘opportunistic criminals’ smashing down the doors of the city’s largest malls and stores – including several huge discount stores which are part of the U.S. chain Walmart – and literally emptying them of everything. Because they can, without much if any chance of retribution. Because the police are totally outnumbered in general, and specifically because they are often too scared to risk their lives against huge mobs. One policeman has been killed. Forty-four others have also lost their lives. Children, old pensioners, Black and White. Once the stores have been emptied, many have been set alight. A total breakdown of law and order in what is being called “anarchy.”Durban’s local police have moved in where they can. But they’ve reportedly been told to stop arresting people, as holding cells are full. Nationally, 800 have been arrested. But on the single highway leading into Durban’s poor Kwa Mashu district alone, well over 800 vehicles were seen loaded with stolen products, driving openly through the city.
People make their way from a shopping mall carrying goods in Durban, South Africa, Tuesday July 13, 2021, as ongoing looting and violence continues.
(AP Photo)DEATH TOLL MOUNTS IN SOUTH AFRICA RIOTING AFTER ZUMA JAILINGThe area around Johannesburg known as Gauteng has seen an almost equal level of chaos. Police are reported to have run out of rubber bullets and stun grenades, and had to withdraw from Johannesburg’s second-largest township, Alexandra, leaving the looters to literally run riot. In the country’s largest township, Soweto, on the Southern side of Johannesburg, shops in four of the five largest malls have been destroyed. Ten suspected looters were killed Tuesday in Soweto in a stampede of people allegedly wanting to get at produce in a mall. Some looters have also had large screen TVs they have just stolen taken from them as they leave the battered shops. Several bodies have been seen lying at the side of the road, reportedly looters killed by residents who have taken the law into their own hands. Ominously, Tuesday night, local residents formed armed vigilante-style gangs to protect Soweto’s fifth and largest mall, Maponya Mall.
A soldier apprehends a looters at a shopping centre in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday July 13, 2021 as ongoing looting and violence continues.
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)SOUTH AFRICAN DRIVER A STUDY IN CALM AS HE COMES UNDER GUNFIRE: VIDEOThe South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, appeared on television to address the nation two nights running, promising a tough crackdown on the looters. He called the army out onto the streets – but only dispatched 2,500 soldiers in a country of 60 million. Double that number of looters are said to have descended on just one of Soweto’s malls earlier. And the soldiers cannot affect even arrests, they are only permitted to assist the police. Observers point out Ramaphosa’s corruption-rocked party, the ANC, is battling to keep in power in the country’s upcoming local government elections, and is not wanting to upset potential voters.The looting continued unabated in many areas Tuesday night. A reporter saw the army on the streets, but also saw people, their arms full of goods they had just apparently stolen, stroll casually past the soldiers. Hospitals. smacked hard in Johannesburg with a third COVID-19 wave, are running out of oxygen because truck drivers are too scared to leave their depots. In any case, the highway between the country’s main port in Durban and Johannesburg is blocked in at least four places by burnt-out, looted trucks. South Africa’s only oil refinery has had to close as gasoline can’t be delivered. Bakeries have shut down, so empty shelves for the country’s staple food, bread. In a country already beset with frequent power blackouts, Tuesday the national truck drivers’ association announced it is no longer safe to deliver coal to power stations.
South Africa’s rioting continued Tuesday as police and the military tried to halt the unrest in poor areas of two provinces, in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, that began last week after the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe unrest started last week with a highway blockage and burning of trucks by a small number of supporters of former President Jacob Zuma, angered when he was put in jail for contempt of court, for failing to appear at a commission into corruption. Now the State Security Agency has announced they are looking into whether the Third Force is behind this mass mayhem. And Tuesday Police Minister Bheki Cele let reporters know that 12 individuals, including two members of Zuma’s family, were being investigated for stirring up the mobs on social media.Business organizations have joined others in calling for a state of emergency to be introduced, with tens of thousands more soldiers deployed onto the streets, taking decisive action against the looters. But in Durban, there’s almost nothing left. It was not a cliche to him, when the owner of a ransacked shop said: ” It’s too little, too late, I’m broken.” Even President Ramaphosa himself says he is concerned there will be food shortages, which in turn could lead to yet more violence.