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Security personnel in South Africa inspect a mall on July 15, 2021 after rioters looted it. FILE.

South African court sentences July 2021 unrest ‘instigator’ to 12 years in prison

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The Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mdumiseni Zuma to 12 years imprisonment for incitement to commit public violence during the unrest in 2021.

He is the first of more than 60 so-called instigators to be convicted and sentenced for the deadly violence that gripped KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng after former president Jacob Zuma was arrested.

According to the prosecution, Mdumiseni recorded himself calling on people to loot and burn a mall and shared the footage on WhatsApp. While there was no proof of his involvement in the looting and arson attack on the mall, the magistrate said he had to be held accountable.

More than 350 people died during the violence.

Local media reports also indicate that the riots caused damages running into several million U.S. dollars and around 150,000 people lost their jobs.

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