The African Union Commission has condemned the violence in South Africa that has left 72 people dead.
Protests against the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma morphed into looting and destruction of property in some provinces.
“The [AU commission Chairperson] Moussa Faki Mahamat, 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,” the commission said in a statement.
The army was deployed to combat the violence and thousands have been arrested.
“The chairperson calls for an urgent restoration of order, peace and stability in the country in full respect of the rule of law,” the statement added.
He said failure to resolve the crisis would have “grave impacts” in the country and the region.
— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) July 13, 2021
Rioters looted and destroyed shops, leading to severe shortages of basics.
Some petrol stations have limited the amount motorists can buy, as fuel transportation has been disrupted.
Local media is reporting of long queues formed outside shops and petrol stations in South Africa’s port city of Durban following days of unrest.
Firefighters are also cleaning up the mess, helped by local residents wielding brooms.
Police have also arrested hundreds of people for the violent unrest as the military makes efforts to bring the rioting under control.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa met with leaders of political parties on Wednesday to discuss ways to address the unrest.
“President Ramaphosa welcomed proposals made by political leaders and said expanded deployment of the South African National Defence Force was being addressed,” a government statement said.
The jailing of a former president is unprecedented in South Africa, which has been gripped by Zuma’s legal turmoil.
Mr. Zuma said going to jail without trial was something he fought against during the white-minority apartheid rule.