Seven killed & baby shot in head after ‘war-like’ riots erupt in South Africa over Jacob Zuma jail sentence3 min read
Seven killed & baby shot in head after ‘war-like’ riots erupt in South Africa over Jacob Zuma jail sentence.
SEVEN people have been killed and baby shot in the head amid “war-like” riots in South Africa.
Protests erupted on Friday after former president Jacob Zuma was put in prison for 15 months, with hundreds arrested as tensions escalate.
Violent scenes have been branded “war-like” by a doctor in Zuma’s home state KwaZulu-Natal, where demonstrations have largely been staged.
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On Monday, a shopping centre was burned and looted, with riots now spreading into neighbouring Gauteng and Johannesburg.
Dr Suhayl Essa says his clinic has become overwhelmed with patients – including a six-month-old girl who was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
He slammed scenes as “a glimpse into hell” – with the military now urgently called in to tame flaring crowds.
Police have resorted to using rubber bullets to control violence, with dozens struck – including the tot.
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“It was a nightmare,” he told News24
“There was no chance for us (doctors) to keep up with the injured patients.
“It felt like war. We were listening to gunshots and screams, and then people were running in for help.” Dr Suhayl Essa
“We were in war mode, dealing with the sickest and helping those who could be saved.
“There was a six-month-old-baby who was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
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“The mother was on the road trying to get home, and she was shot at.”
According to Dr Essa, countless people have also been stabbed since riots broke out.
“Because of how many people were stabbed in the chest, we had run out of chest drains,” he said.
“We had to use tubes used to ventilate patients. We didn’t have anything to tape IV lines so we used bandages.
“It felt like war. We were listening to gunshots and screams, and then people were running in for help.”
Former South African leader Zuma, 79, was sentenced late last month for defying a constitutional court order to give evidence at an inquiry investigating high-level corruption during his nine years in office until 2018.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to address the nation about the violence later on Monday, his office said.
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