Detainees over Zuma-linked riots due in court in SA

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Detainees over Zuma-linked riots due in court in SA

Twenty people suspected of instigating the deadly riots that swept through parts of South Africa in July last year, will appear in court in the eastern city of Durban later on Friday.

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They will face a number of charges, including incitement to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson.

More than 300 people were killed in the unrest that erupted after South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma, was jailed for contempt of court.

This is an initial appearance, dealing with matters such as whether the suspects will be granted bail and to set a date for the next time they will be in court.

They were arrested during co-ordinated police raids in six provinces on Thursday, in an investigation which used extensive trawls of social media posts to pinpoint suspected agitators.

While more than 5,000 people have already been arrested in connection with last year’s violence, authorities have been under pressure due to the low number of prosecutions.

Last month the government said that around 50 cases had resulted in a guilty verdict, while thousands had been resolved through non-prosecution

South Africa is still trying to recover from the economic damage - estimated at close to $4bn (£3.3bn). At the time South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the it as an “attempted insurrection” .

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