South Africans of Indian descent fear mob violence as threats escalate on social media during the ongoing violence and looting, especially in KwaZulu-Natal province, which has a large proportion of residents with roots on the Subcontinent.
The unrest began last Sunday, after former President Jacob Zuma, the country’s first Zulu president, reported to prison last Thursday to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt. In addition to looting in the KwaZulu-Natal cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, malls and stores have been ransacked in Gauteng Province, which includes Johannesburg and Soweto. Dozens have been killed; Durban, the country’s third-largest city, is suffering shortages of bread and milk.
With police overwhelmed, and 25,000 soldiers unable to quell the violence, civilians and vigilantes have began taking up arms. Many predominantly Indian communities, which live alongside predominantly Zulu areas, have begun setting up barricades and armed patrols for fear of being infiltrated