Unrest in SA: 12 People Being Investigated, Social Media Used To Organise Protests

Unrest in SA: 12 People Being Investigated, Social Media Used To Organise Protests

  • According to reports WhatsApp and Telegram have been identified as some of the social media platforms used to investigate the violent protest taking place in the country
  • Twelve people are being investigated by SAPS' Crime Intelligence Unit for being the instigators behind the protests
  • Social Media platforms have been approached by investigators to assist in the investigations of those under suspicion

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South Africa is still reeling from the violent protests that broke out in KwaZulu-Natal last week. The protests were initially a call for the release of former president Jacob Zuma who was arrested for being in contempt of court. Zuma was sentenced to 15-months in prison by the Constitutional Court.

The riots spread to Gauteng over the weekend and turned into widespread looting, destruction of infrastructure and a lot of businesses were forced to close down as a result.

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Unrest, South Africa,12 People, investigation WhatsApp, Telegram, violent protest, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng
12 people are under investigation for planning and launching the unrest seen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Images: Darren Stewart, James Oatway & AFP
Source: Getty Images

As it stands, around 72 people have been killed and over 1 300 people arrested and 12 people are currently being investigated as being the masterminds behind the riots, reports Daily Maverick.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele stated on Tuesday Zuma's daughter Duduzile Zuma-Smabudla was also being looked into for her role in the mobilisation of rioters, according to a report by BusinessTech.

Reports also state that Zuma's loyal compatriot Thulani Dlomo has been identified as one of the 12 being investigated. Dlomo is a former Ambassador of Japan.

The 12 being investigated as instigators of the violent protests are said to have lost control of the situation, reports Daily Maverick.

Senior ANC and intelligence officials told the Daily Maverick that the unrest was organized on social media once the 12 individuals had finalised their strategy. Social Media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram were used to strategise the launch of protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

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The police cyber-crimes unit is also investigating the use of social media platforms to identify more instigators. It has also been reported that companies that own these social media platforms have also been called to assist in the investigations.

While the planning of the civil unrest was done on WhatsApp and Telegram, Facebook and Twitter were used to amplify the message.

The 12 are being investigated by the South Africa Police Services' Crime Intelligence as well as the state's intelligence unit.

Premier Sihle Zikalala caught on camera beating a suspected looter

Briefly News recently reported that Premier for KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala has come under fire after he allegedly assaulted a young man. The man was suspected to be a part of the looting which is occurring in Phoenix, Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala has come under fire for allegedly assaulting a young man believed to be linked to a looting incident in Phoenix. Zikalala was in the north of Durban on Wednesday where hundreds of looters were targeting many businesses, trucks and warehouses since the weekend.

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A contingent of SAPS and Metro Police were with the Premier with a small amount of SANDF members.

TimesLIVE reported that after Zikalala left the area, police started using teargas, stun grenades and firing rubber bullets against people who had targetted a truck that was believed to have been carrying electronic goods.

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Source: Briefly News

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