South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has claimed that the widespread unrest in the country in the past week was planned.
Rampahosa said this during his first visit to areas affected by the worst unrest in the country’s post-apartheid era.
The president said the riots were an attempt to hijack South Africa’s democracy.
He also disclosed that the instigators had been identified but didn’t divulge details.
“It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated, there were people who planned it and coordinated it,” he said on Friday.
Riots were sparked last week by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma. What started very mildly, quickly escalated across major cities of the country, reflecting the deteriorating state of the economy amid the COVID-19 struggle.
25,000 soldiers were earlier in the week deployed to the affected areas to curb the violence which, according to the government, had led to the death of 212 people, up by almost 100 since Thursday.
Ramaphosa visited Ethikwini Municipality, which includes the port city Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province, one of the worst-hit areas in a week of looting that destroyed hundreds of businesses.
“We are going after them, we have identified a good number of them, and we will not allow anarchy and mayhem to just unfold in our country,” he added.
Ramaphosa did admit, however, that his government could have acted “quicker” to prevent the unrest and expressed concerns about growing racial tensions in KwaZulu-Natal.