South African crowds rampage, hospital operations disrupted
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Crowds looted shops and offices in South Africa on Wednesday, defying government calls to end a week of violence that has killed more than 70 people and wrecked hundreds of businesses.
Overnight it spread to two other provinces - Mpumalanga, just east of Gauteng, and Northern Cape, police said.
"The impact of the looting and destruction is having dire consequences on hospitals," the NHN said. "And the epicentre of the pandemic is within the affected provinces currently under siege." Staff in affected areas were unable to get to work, it said, worsening shortages caused by a third wave of infections.
Some 40,000 businesses had been hit by the unrest, he said.
The national prosecuting authority has said it will punish those caught looting or destroying property, a threat that so far has done little to deter them. Security forces say they have arrested more than 1,200 people.