A man fires a hand gun in the air to disperse a mob of alleged looters outside of the Chris Hanni Mall in Vosloorus, on July 14, 2021. - Unrest raged in South Africa on July 14, 2021, for the sixth day running, stoking fears of food and fuel shortages as disruption to farming, manufacturing and oil refining began to bite. Seventy-two people have died and more than 1,200 people have been arrested, according to official figures, since former president Jacob Zuma began a 15-month jail term, sparking protests that swiftly turned violent. AFP
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Wednesday condemned the surge of violence that has resulted in the deaths of civilians in parts of South Africa.
"The Chairperson condemns in the strongest terms the surge of violence that has resulted in the deaths of civilians and appalling scenes of the looting of public and private property, destruction of infrastructure, including the suspension of essential services in Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng and other parts of South Africa," an AU statement issued on Wednesday read.
Mahamat called for an urgent restoration of order, peace and stability in the country in full respect of the rule of law.
He further extended condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a rapid and full recovery to the wounded.
"Failure to do so can have grave impacts not only in the country but the region as a whole," the AU statement quoted Mahamat as saying.
Chairperson of the pan African bloc further reiterated the full and unwavering solidarity of the AU Commission with the government and people of South Africa.
Protests started in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province last week over the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma. Supporters of the former President started violent protests and looting calling for his immediate release from jail. The protests eventually spread to other provinces including Gauteng.
On Tuesday, authorities said a total of 26 people have been killed during violent protests and looting in KwaZulu-Natal Province.