The South African government has sought to deploy around 25,000 troops to curb unrest, amid fears of food and fuel shortages.(REUTERS)
The South African government has sought to deploy around 25,000 troops to curb unrest, amid fears of food and fuel shortages.(REUTERS)

South Africa riots: Jacob Zuma's arrest and the connection with Indian community

  • Jacob Zuma had faced many legal challenges before, during and after his presidency, including allegations of rape, embezzlement of public fund, corruption and fraud among many others.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2021 05:18 PM IST

South Africa is under unrest and chaos since the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma earlier on July 7. As many as 72 people have died and more than 1,200 people have been arrested, according to news agency AFP. The Indian community living in South Africa is living in apprehensions of dangers to their homes and businesses as cases of riots, arson and violence are being reported.

The South African government has sought to deploy around 25,000 troops to quell the unrest, amid fears of fuel and food shortages. The government has said that 208 incidents of looting and vandalism were recorded on Wednesday, reports AFP.

Let's take a look at the violence in South Africa and its connection with the Indian community

Zuma had faced many legal challenges before, during and after his presidency, including allegations of rape, embezzlement of public fund, corruption and fraud among many others. Of all the corruption issues charged against him, the most significant one is the involvement of the Gupta family.

The Gupta family, with their roots in Uttar Pradesh, moved to South Africa in 1993. Among the prominent members of the family are three brothers --Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh Gupta –and Atul's nephew, Varun. Atul founded Sahara Computers. The Gupta brothers own coal mines, computer manufacturing business, newspapers and a media outlet.

The Interpol issued a red corner notice against the three brothers over a 2016 graft report.

Guptagate corruption

A chartered plane was used to transport guests for the wedding of one of the relatives of the Gupta family. The plane had landed at the Waterkloof Air Base near Pretoria in 2013. What was odd about the incident was that the airbase is allowed for use only by visiting heads of states and diplomatic delegates. The incident stirred an immediate outcry and the South African media dubbed it as 'Guptagate’.

India raises concerns with South Africa

India on Wednesday reached out to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government, which assured it that the attacks were not racially motivated. Foreign minister S Jaishankar spoke to his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor on the phone.

Zulu King asks to stop riots

Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has called for an immediate end to the violence and looting between Zulus and Indians,” news agency PTI reported.

“Our Indian brothers are our neighbours and we have the second biggest population of Indians in KwaZulu-Natal outside of India and through that, we have had certain people who have come to us to say thank you to the Zulu nation and to the Zulu royal family that you are living with our Indian brothers in peace," he said.

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