South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says deadly violence and looting that have shaken the country over the past week were planned as death toll mounts to 212.
More than 2,200 people have been arrested for theft and vandalism and 117 people have died. Many were trampled to death in chaotic stampedes when shops were being looted.
President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed soldiers to help police halt the violence and looting sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma. At least 72 people have been killed in the ongoing violence.
The country’s top court found ex-president Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt for defying its order to appear before corruption investigators examining allegations of corruption during his tenure from 2009 to 2018.
South Africa received one million AstraZeneca doses last week and had hoped to start vaccinating health workers soon but results that are yet to be peer-reviewed show minimal protection against mild or moderate infection from the B.1.351 variant.
The Covid-19 pandemic has infected more than 103 million people around the world, with over 2.2 million fatalities. Here are developments for February 1:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been praised for decisive action to curb the epidemic with one of the continent’s strictest lockdowns.
Africa's most advanced economy is talking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, New Development Bank of the BRICS and African Development Bank to source funding to contribute to a $26.5 billion rescue package against Covid-19.
South African officials have imposed some of the toughest restrictions on the continent to try to fight the virus, including deploying the army to support police during a 21-day lockdown that started on Friday.
Virus prevention measures have taken a violent turn in parts of Africa as countries impose lockdowns and curfews or seal off major cities. Cases across Africa were set to jump above 4,000 on Saturday.
Thirty-three of Africa’s 54 countries now have novel coronavirus cases. Though the pandemic is in its early days on the continent, health experts have warned that even facilities in Africa's richest nation could be overwhelmed by the virus' spread.
Unions are pressing for a three-year guarantee of job security and an 8 percent across-the-board wage hike, while pilots accepted a 5.9% and will not participate in the strike.
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