87 arrested in South Africa ahead of anti-government protests

South African security forces said 87 people across the country have been arrested for public violence in the past 12 hours ahead of protests planned for Monday by the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party.

The EFF called for a nationwide lockdown to protest the deadly blackout and called for the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party’s main constituency is South Africa’s poor black working class, who have been left out of the country’s prosperity since the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ended white minority rule in 1994.

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Of the eighty-seven arrested, 41 were in Gauteng, the province which includes the capital Pretoria and the main city Johannesburg, 29 in were in North West province, and 15 in Free State, National intelligence body NatJOINTS said in a statement, adding that there has been arrests in other provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

Parliament said in a statement on Sunday that the South African military would deploy 3,474 troops for a month until April 17 to prevent and combat crime in cooperation with the police.

“Law enforcement officers are on high alert and will continue to prevent and combat any acts of criminality,” NatJOINTS said.

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