People flee from police while looting and vandalising the Lotsoho Mall in Katlehong township, east of Johannesburg, on July 12, 2021. — AFP/VNA Photo
PRETORIA — The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa has advised Vietnamese citizens in the country to closely monitor the situation and not to travel to areas that are hotspots of instability.
The warning came as South Africa has been coping with rioting and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces and some other localities, following protests over the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.
In late June, Zuma was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to appear before a state commission of inquiry into corruption under his administration. He surrendered to the police on July 7.
Vietnamese citizens were warned not to travel at night unless absolutely necessary and should go home before 8pm.
The embassy also announced the emergency contact number for citizen protection on its official website and social media platforms.
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoàng Văn Lợi requested the embassy's units strengthen measures to ensure the safety of people, headquarters and vehicles, and strictly abide by the ambassador's regulations on travelling amid the local complex situation.
Vietnamese citizens are so far safe from the ongoing riot in the country, Vietnam News Agency correspondents in South Africa reported.
According to Acting Minister in the Presidency of South Africa Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, as of July 15 morning, 2,203 people have been arrested for looting and destroying property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces and 117 deaths were recorded from violence during the unrest.
On July 15 morning, the South African Defence Force (SANDF) deployed 15,000 troops to hotspots of unrest.
The South African government and relevant authorities have held meetings with political parties, religious leaders, tribal leaders and civil society organisations to seek a consensus and ask the people to assist in restoring order and preventing the unrest from spreading. — VNS