Food Queues, Buildings On Fire: Satellite Images Of South Africa Violence


Long lines for gas at Pietermaritzburg. High-res here

New Delhi:

Maxar Technologies has been collecting new satellite imagery of South Africa that shows the scale and intensity of the recent violence and looting that occurred in multiple cities, including Durban and Pietermaritzburg.


Looting at Kwamashu shopping centre in Durban. High-res here

The unrest followed protests triggered by the jailing of ex-President Jacob Zuma, who was handed a 15-month jail term for snubbing a corruption investigation.


Crowds surround Ayoba cold storage in Durban. High-res here


Looting at Springfield retail centre shopping mall in Durban. High-res here

Mr Zuma, whose home province is KZN, commands support among loyalists in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), who portray him as a champion of the poor.


Looted and burned Brookside Mall, Pietermaritzburg. High-res here


People waiting for food at Pietermaritzburg. High-res here

In scenes that have stunned the nation, looters have casually plundered stores, pharmacies and in one case a blood bank, hauling away goods as police stood by, seemingly powerless to act, news agency AFP reported.


Crowds surround a building in Durban. High-res here

The Maxar satellite imagery shows dozens of grocery and food stores looted and debris scattered around buildings. Crowds can be seen gathered nearby and in a number of locations buildings have been set on fire.


Buildings set on fire during riots in Durban. High-res here

On today’s imagery of Pietermaritzburg, long lines of people can be seen waiting to get food outside the few supermarkets that remain open and queue in their cars waiting to get gas.


Looting at Springfield value centre shopping mall in Durban. High-res here

President Cyril Ramaphosa today said the week-long spree of violence and pillaging that has shocked South Africa had been “planned” and vowed to hunt down those responsible, as the number of dead from the unrest reached 212.


Long lines of people waiting for food at Pietermaritzburg. High-res here

“It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated – there were people who planned it and coordinated it,” Mr Ramaphosa said in a visit to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, the flarepoint for post-apartheid South Africa’s worst crisis.

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