#Free JZ protests can be classified as “total shutdown” than looting, expert

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#Free JZ protests can be classified as
LOOTING: Recent violent protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal have left behind damages estimated to be worth R20 billion. PICTURE BY The Conversation

More than 300 people have perished during the riots.


An expert has suggested that what took place in KZN and Gauteng two weeks ago was actually a “total shutdown” rather than rampant looting.

Karen Heese replies soon after Municipal Data and Intelligence released a report focusing on KZN’s municipalities of eThekwini, Msunduzi, and uMhlathuze and Gauteng’s Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni municipalities.

The Municipal IQ found that in most protests that have been engulfing the province in recent months the looting seems to be unique.

Municipal IQ is a unique web-based data and intelligence service specialising in the monitoring and assessment of all of South Africa’s 278 municipalities.

“It is noteworthy that in recent months there have been several incidents in which protesters have looted trucks that have been caught up in service delivery protests,” Heese of Municipal IQ said.

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“Most service delivery protests, even those billed as #Shutdowns, are not typified by looting but rather the closing of businesses,” Heese said

KZN has lost an estimated R20 billion in damages from the protests and the premier of Gauteng, David Makhura said they are still calculating the cost of the damage of the looting.

The organisation said what happened in the #FreeJacobZuma protests might affect the policing of service delivery protests in South Africa.

Government will destroy recovered goods as they might “devalue” the ones in the market, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has said.

“The stolen goods are no different from counterfeit products and that is why we destroy them,” said Ntshavheni.

(edited by MGB)

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