2021 July unrest instigator Mdumiseni Zuma gets 12-year jail term

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Mdumiseni Zuma, one of the instigators of the 2021 July unrest in South Africa, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The sentencing was delivered in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg this morning, marking a significant outcome following Zuma’s conviction in September for charges related to public violence and incitement to commit arson.

Zuma’s charges were connected to the widespread looting and destruction that occurred at the Pietermaritzburg Brookside Shopping Mall during the civil unrest in July 2021.

At the time, Zuma (36) was employed as a security guard at the mall and was implicated in recording a video encouraging people to participate in the looting.

During his defence, Zuma claimed that it was a prank and asserted that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Mdumiseni Zuma convicted of inciting public violence during 2021 July unrest

The July 2021 unrest had profound and far-reaching consequences for South Africa, resulting in the tragic loss of approximately 354 lives, including 79 in Gauteng and 258 in KwaZulu-Natal.

By August 12, 2022, around 5 500 people had been arrested in connection with the unrest.

The economic toll was staggering, with reported losses amounting to R50 billion, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) bearing the brunt of the damage.

A comprehensive report into the July unrest highlighted the retail, accommodation, health, food, and social services sectors as the most severely affected. Furthermore, the farming, mining, and manufacturing industries in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng experienced a 63% decline in revenue for small businesses.

Security guard apologises for allegedly encouraging people during the July 2021 unrest: