Four protesters have reportedly been found dead, with two being shot by police responding to cost-of-living protests in South Africa.
Yesterday, South African protesters took to the streets of Thembisa, lighting tires and even municipal buildings on fire and blockading roads in protest of out-of-control inflation wreaking havoc on the nation.
As reported by Africa News, “There were “two fatal injuries” in the “protest action which took place in the early hours of the morning,” said city police spokeswoman Kelebogile Thepa. “It is alleged that they were shot.””
By the end of the day, Thepa said that two more bodies had been found dead near the entrance of a burning building — though police are yet to confirm the cause of death.
While protests over poverty and cost-of-living aren’t uncommon in the country, some are concerned about the current state of affairs and the nation’s trajectory.
Less than two weeks ago, former President Thabo Mbeki warned that South Africa could see an uprising, not unlike the Arab Spring, due to mounting discontent and economic issues.
“There is no national plan to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. It doesn’t exist,” Mbeki said. “To serve the people requires that we address these issues.”
He further lambasted the current President for not addressing socioeconomic conditions or the government’s corruption.
“A street hawker was abused by the police, and that enraged the country; that’s how that massive uprising happened in Tunisia, the problems were brewing beneath the surface, and it needed a little spark,” Mbeki explained.
“One of these days, it’s going to happen to us. You can’t have so many people unemployed and poor. One day it is going to trigger an uprising.”