South Africa: Ramaphosa leaves Commonwealth summit to deal with protests | 2018-04-20 | daily-sun.com

South Africa: Ramaphosa leaves Commonwealth summit to deal with protests

BBC     20th April, 2018 08:38:54 printer

South Africa: Ramaphosa leaves Commonwealth summit to deal with protests

 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut short his attendance at the Commonwealth summit in London to deal with violent protests at home.

 

Clashes have taken place in North West province where protesters are demanding jobs, housing and an end to corruption.

 

Shops have been looted, roads barricaded and vehicles set alight.

 

President Ramaphosa, who took office in February, has sought to encourage investment in South Africa during his visit to the UK.

 

Protests in South Africa's North West province erupted on Wednesday as demonstrators demanded the resignation of provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo - a member of Mr Ramaphosa's governing African National Congress (ANC).

 

Mr Ramaphosa is scheduled to hold meetings with ANC leaders in the provincial capital Mahikeng on Friday, his office said.

 

Mr Ramaphosa has called for calm and ordered police to exercise restraint.

 

South African media said officers used tear gas to disperse protesters who had set light to a bus, stoned vehicles and blocked roads with burning tyres.

 

Nine people have been arrested since Wednesday, South Africa's Timeslive reported citing police spokesperson Adele Myburgh.

 

Neighbouring Botswana said it had closed exit points along its shared border with North West province.

 

South Africa's faltering economy has been a priority for Mr Ramaphosa since he took over from former President Jacob Zuma.

 

Growth had been weak and unemployment painfully high as Mr Zuma's leadership was dogged by years of corruption allegations.

 

In a recent interview with Bloomberg in London, Mr Ramaphosa said he was seeking $100bn (£71bn) in investment to help kick-start the economy.

 

He said his government was determined to tackle corruption.

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