A protest is already being planned for 10 August when former President Jacob Zuma appears in court, and the police are worried that stolen ammunition could be used in new attacks.
Zuma is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre for contempt of court after ignoring an order to appear before the Zondo Commission.
While serving his jail term, Zuma’s corruption trial related to the arms deal will start in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
Zuma is accused of taking bribes from his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, in exchange for political influence linked to the South African military procurement programme.
He is facing 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering. Zuma pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the trial will begin on Tuesday, 10 August.
The City Press reported that there are now renewed concerns about violence in KwaZulu-Natal, following the devastating riots and looting three weeks ago.
According to the newspaper, the police is particularly worried that protestors will use ammunition stolen from a depot during the riots on the day Zuma appears in court.
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni recently confirmed that rioters looted ammunition from a shipping container at a depot in Prospecton in Durban South.
While some of the bullets had been recovered, the Mail & Guardian reported that the bulk of the 14-tonne consignment remains missing.
Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies Johan Burger warned that this ammunition could be used during more public violence.
It did not take long for Burger’s warning to become true. News24 reported that the stolen ammunition has already been used to attack police officers on Thursday.
“Gunmen, who fired on police officers conducting a raid in Lamontville, south of Durban, were armed with stolen ammunition looted from a container during the rampant unrest,” the report said.
Bullet casings recovered from the shooting scene in Durban were linked to the cache of stolen ammunition.
Despite the concerns of renewed violence in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC in the province is allegedly powerless to act against the instigators.
Rapport reported that the party has so many Zuma supporters that it is paralysed and could not decide what to do.
Article written by: My Broadband
Photo credit: The World