Police in South Africa kill two people in ANC violence
South African police said yesterday that they had shot dead two people suspected of looting shops in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, in continued violence triggered by the ruling party’s choice of a mayoral candidate for local polls.
Police said they had also arrested 40 of the rioters who were targeting foreigners’ shops as public anger mounted over economic hardships in the build-up to elections on August 3 that are likely to become a referendum on President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
Residents of Pretoria’s townships started setting cars and buses alight on Monday night after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) named a candidate in the Tshwane municipality where the capital city is located, overruling the choice of regional branches. Burned-out cars blocked roads yesterday.
The two killed were shot on Tuesday night. “Two of the suspects were shot and killed following looting at Mamelodi,” police said in a statement, adding that those arrested would face charges of violence and theft.
“Incidents of protests and looting continued in other areas while situation is tense in others.”
Violence continued in parts of the capital yesterday.
Protesters continued to clash with police and “a disproportionate part of the looting was taking place at shops owned by foreign nationals,” Tshwane Metro police spokesman Console Tleane told eNCA television.
“There is calm in some hotspots (but) the navigation of the streets is difficult because of the rubble and the debris,” he said.
Foreigners, many of them from other African countries, were attacked in April last year by crowds blaming them for taking jobs and business.
Analysts warned of more unrest in the commercial hub of Gauteng province, which includes Pretoria and Johannesburg.
“Intra-ANC, election-related, factional violence is being ignored by markets trading on external factors, but is worrying,” Peter Attard Montalto, a London-based Nomura emerging markets analyst, said.