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Racial violence in South Africa: Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini calls for peace, asks his people to stop attacking Indians

Calling this an act that brought 'much disgrace' to the Zulu people, the Zulu King urged them to “embrace the Indians” because they share the land with them.

Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini while giving a live address on television asked fellow Zulus to end violence against Indians with ‘immediate effect.’ On Wednesday, KaZwelithini addressed Zulus giving a call for peace as the riots and unbridled violence against the Indian diaspora in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, entered the sixth day. 

“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,” appealed the king. 

Expressing his displeasure over the turn of events, KaZwelithini said that violence is “not the right way of expressing and it creates a picture of people who have lost their dignity.”

The Zulu King highlighted that he had not expected his “own people (would be) so complicit” in burning down South Africa”. “I must appeal to all of us to take a great step back and consider the damage that is being done by our own actions,” KaZwelithini said.

KaZwelithini added that he fully understands the depression born of poverty and joblessness but also pointed out that the violence and arson would further affect the poor people as significant supply chains of medicine and food have been affected due to the ongoing pandemic.

Calling this an act that brought ‘much disgrace’ to the Zulu people, the Zulu King urged them to “embrace the Indians” because they share the land with them. 

South Africa continues to burn

As violent protests, riots, and arson engulfed South Africa, the city of Durban especially has been witnessing an unprecedented amount of damages caused due to continuous looting and rioting.

We reported earlier that according to eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, around 45,000 businesses have been deemed out of commission, and it is estimated that properties worth R16 billion (around 8225 crores) have been looted or destroyed during the riots that include damage to infrastructure and equipment.

Schools and warehouses were also burnt with visuals of gallons of milk flowing like a river on the roads going viral on social media.

It is also reported that what. started as a protest, soon turned into racial violence against the Indian community in South Africa. However, despite the continuous attack on the Indian community, the Indians came out to hand over bread to anyone who needs it.

What started the riots?

Last week, former President Jacob Zuma was arrested in contempt of court charges after he had failed to appear for a corruption hearing. The arrest of Jacob Zuma sent his supporters into a violent rage, as they rioted, indulged in arson and rampant loot in several parts of South Africa. Protests got converted into arson, looting, and other criminal activities. Despite the government’s announcement of the deployment of SA National Defence Forces, the arson and looting continued on July 13 and July 14.

Several reports have emerged where the rioters and looters are targeting people of Indian descent. It is believed that the locals are using corruption accused Gupta Brothers as an excuse to target the Indian community. In a desperate attempt to protect their businesses from looting, Indians have now stepped up their fight against the arsonists and looters. Visuals had emerged where the Indian community retaliated and shot at the looters.

Members of the Indian community were seen armed with guns and artillery to ward off rioters, looters, and arsonists. Willem Petzer, the Chairman of Taxpayers Union of South Africa, tweeted, “I have to say, after watching everything that happened today, I am looking at the Durban Indian community in a whole different light. These guys showed us they are willing to go all the way to defend their communities when they are threatened, whatever it takes.”

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